Jul 16, 2019 in Book Review

The issue of organized crime in the United States has not found any profound reflection and investigation, being limited to the separate news articles and mass media stories. The author of “Organizing Crime in Chinatown” has conducted a prolific research of the Chinese criminal syndicates, their principles and reasons of activities, as well as influences on the social system. Being a specialist in the sphere of criminal justice and criminology, J. McIllwain has examined the history of the Chinese criminal groups operating in the United States at the end of the 19th century. The book provides historical, comparative, statistical and criminal analyses of the organized crimes, such as gambling, prostitution and the importation, distribution and sale of narcotics. The author has investigated the impact of the organized Chinese criminal groups on the American society and scopes of their activities in different cities.

The first chapter of the book is dedicated to the investigation of the history of the organized criminal activities in the United States. The author has examined the Chinese syndicates from the historical retrospective. In this chapter, the McIllwain provides readers with the statistical conclusions, which witness about the changes and shifts in the criminal outbreaks. He provides the specific dates, marking the crucial events in the development of the organized criminal activities in the US . Moreover, the first chapter examines the nature of social networks, basic characteristics of human groups and principles of their acting. The author applies this information in order to link it with the notion of criminal organizations and syndicates. He states that the notion of organizing networks is a peculiar human feature. However, the organized criminal groups do not contribute to the social well-being because of the false aims and inappropriate objectives.

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In the second chapter, J. McIllwain depicts the basic characteristics of the Chinese culture, conditions of economic decline and social regression, which have forced thousands of citizens to move to the US and settle there. The author tries to explain the emergence of the Chinese organized criminal groups in terms of the peculiarities of their cultures. He states that China imposed high regulations and prohibitions, which happened to be less strict in the US. As a result, the insufficient interdictions, as well poor living conditions and lack of self-responsibility, led to the appearance of the abovementioned groups.

Moreover, the second chapter of the book provides the statistical data about the crimes. Thus, it indicates the estimated amount of sold drugs, the percentage of crimes connected with gambling and prostitution. The author lists the historical criminal activities conducted in the Chinatown after the emigration of Chinese settlers. Additionally, this chapter shows the information about the population of Chinatown, gender and age characteristics of its population, as well as major professions and social orders of the region.

The following two chapters describe the peculiarities of the organized Chinese groups in a national scope. They compare the criminal activities of the Chinese syndicates in Chinatown and New York as well as other cities. They provide the comparative analysis of the organized crimes in America, in general. The author shows a complete picture of organized crimes throughout the entire state. He depicts the major criminal events, dwells on the general outcomes of the violent behavior on the society and investigates the probable causes.

The final chapter of the book contains conclusions and directions for the further researches. It summarizes the information about the Chinese organized criminal groups, reasons of their activities, and consequences. The author uses bright interpretations and explanations of the material and supports them with the quotations from the reliable sources and previous researches.

To sum up, this book possesses a great value in terms of its statistical data, historical examination, investigation of the psychological and cultural characteristics of organized criminal groups, and examples from the real life. The author has arranged the gathered information in a thorough way. In fact, the book is easy to comprehend and analyze on the account of its clear structure ad division into chapters. J. McIllwain has conducted one of the most profound and complete researches, in the sphere of Chinese organized criminal syndicates. His investigation is valuable for the further analysis of the causes and consequences of the organized crimes, in the urban areas.

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