James Martin

View on Amazon

I am old enough to realise that we have entered a science fiction world in which the old systems of the market place are being sidestepped by new technology. We who follow the tried and true methods are missing out of the brave new world. The changes are particularly true for the middle men whose services are no longer needed as the web allows customers to deal directly with producers. This also applies to the participants in organised crime. James Martin’s terrific new book Drugs on the Dark Net: How Cryptomarkets are Transforming the Global Trade in Illicit Drugs (Palgrave, 2014) spells out how this is occurring in the drug trade as the Tor Network allows drug users to purchase their products from anywhere in the world. No longer are they tied to a street dealer or a friend for supply. No longer do they lack choice in quality or variety. Now they can peruse a range of products from the safety of their home. They have choice that would never be available without the internet. More importantly, as Martin points out, they are now valued customers with contracts, refund policies and providers of feedback on service quality. These websites provide all types of illicit goods but, surprisingly, many have ethical frameworks that limit their product ranges to restrict the sale of unacceptable goods and services such as child pornography or, in comes cases, firearms. This book is a mind expanding (pun intended) exploration of a high tech illicit market place that is essential reading for police, academics and the public at large.

{ 0 comments }

Donald HolbrookThe Al-Qaeda Doctrine: The Framing and Evolution of the Leadership’s Public Discourse

October 3, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Books in National Security] Donald Holbrook‘s The Al-Qaeda Doctrine: The Framing and Evolution of the Leadership’s Public Discourse (Bloomsbury, 2014) represents a significant scholarly contribution to the study of Al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism more broadly. Through a remarkably exhaustive, longitudinal study of over 260 public statements from Ayman al-Zawahiri and Osama bin Laden, Dr. Holbrook exposes Al-Qaeda’s [...]

Read the full article →

Robert LombardoOrganized Crime in Chicago: Beyond the Mafia

September 8, 2014

Chicago would be one of the first places that people think of when the topic of organized crime is raised. Al Capone made the city famous during prohibition. I have done the Gangster bus tour in Chicago which focuses entirely on that period in history. In Organized Crime in Chicago: Beyond the Mafia (University of [...]

Read the full article →

Mark MazzettiThe Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth

August 8, 2014

There are many movies about evil CIA agents assassinating supposed enemies of the US. Those who saw the latest Captain America movie will have witnessed the plan by Hydra (a fascist faction within a secret agency presumably within the CIA) build floating gunships that can identify and eliminate those who pose a threat to national [...]

Read the full article →

John DickieMafia Republic: Italy’s Criminal Curse. Cosa Nostra, ‘Ndrangheta and Camorra from 1946 to the Present

July 1, 2014

Mafia Republic: Italy’s Criminal Curse (Sceptre, 2013) is the second book by John Dickie on the history of the three organised crime groups from Southern Italy: the Sicilian Mafia or Cosa Nostra, the ‘Ndrangheta from Calabria and the Camorra from Naples. Dickie has an advantage over other researchers in organized crime by being able to read [...]

Read the full article →

Michael SalterOrganised Sexual Abuse

May 7, 2014

[Cross-posted from New Book in Sociology] Sometimes it’s hard to imagine how certain types of violence can occur, and organized multi-perpetrator abuse certainly fits into this category.  Ritual abuse, sadistic abuse and pedophilia rings are often things we see in episodes of “Law and Order,” without having to think of the reality of the victims that actually [...]

Read the full article →

Peter Maguire and Mike RitterThai Stick: Surfers, Scammers and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade

March 29, 2014

Reading Peter Maguire and Mike Ritter‘s book Thai Stick: Surfers, Scammers and the Untold Story of the Marijuana Trade (Columbia Press, 2013) is the most fun I have had doing this podcast. Maguire makes a point during the interview that police officers preferred to arrest marijuana smugglers because they were so laid back and safe to [...]

Read the full article →

Jarrod GilbertPatched: The History of Gangs in New Zealand

February 6, 2014

Jarrod Gilbert is very lucky that he comes from a country the size of New Zealand. With only 4 million people he could carry out a project that would be beyond the abilities of someone from a large nation and beyond the scope of a single book, namely, the history of all the gangs in a [...]

Read the full article →

Joseph Albini and Jeffrey S. McIllwainDeconstructing Organized Crime: An Historical and Theoretical Study

January 31, 2014

Joseph Albini and Jeffrey S. McIllwain, Deconstructing Organized Crime: An Historical and Theoretical Study (MacFarlane, 2012) is not, as some academics might think, a post-modern analysis of organized crime. It is however, an exercise of deconstructing by trying to look past the common assumptions and myths to explain the phenomenon we call organized crime. The book starts [...]

Read the full article →

Karrin HanshewTerror and Democracy in West Germany

November 16, 2013

[Cross-posted from New Books in History] In West Germany in September and October of 1977, a group of self-described urban guerrillas of the Red Army Faction (RAF) kidnapped industrialist Hanns Martin Schleyer. In exchange for Schleyer, the RAF demanded the release of its imprisoned leaders, Andreas Baader and Gudrun Ensslin. Those months in 1977 following the abduction [...]

Read the full article →