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Narco Americano

Tonight, we interview Author T.J. English about his devastating article that details the horrendous drug-related violence that plagues the U.S. / Mexican border.  The article is in the February 2011 issue of Playboy magazine.

“If there was doubt before, there is no longer: The killings represent a tipping point.  What was viewed by some U.S. citizens and public officials as mostly a Mexican problem is now an American problem, with American victims.  No one is immune. And no one is safe.”

About the guest:

Thomas Joseph “T.J.” English comes from a large Irish Catholic family of ten brothers and sisters. Early in his writing career, English worked as a freelance journalist in New York City during the day and drove a taxi at night. He often refers to cab driving as a metaphor for what he does as a writer – cruising the streets, interviewing strangers, exploring the unknown, reporting on what he sees and hears from his sojourns in and around the underworld.

In 1990, English published his first book, The Westies, an account of the last of the Irish Mob in the infamous Manhattan neighborhood known as “Hell’s Kitchen.” The book was the result of a series of reports English wrote for a weekly Irish American newspaper based in New York…
His second book, Born to Kill (1995), was an unprecedented inside account of a violent Vietnamese gang based in New York’s Chinatown, that operated up and down the East Coast. In 2005, English published Paddy Whacked, a sweeping history of the Irish American gangster in New York, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans, and other U.S. cities. Most recently, English published Havana Nocturne (2008), an investigative account of U.S. mobster infiltration of Havana, Cuba, in the years before the Revolution swept Fidel Castro into power.

As a journalist, English has written for many magazines and newspapers including: Esquire, Playboy, Irish America, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Times, and The New York Times…

In the mid-1990s, he wrote a three-part series for Playboy entitled “The New Mob” that explored the changing face of organized crime in America. His work as a writer has taken him to Cuba, Jamaica, Hong Kong, Mexico, Ireland, and all around the U.S… Most of his articles are on the subject of crime and criminal justice, though English writes on a wide variety of subjects including music, politics, and movies. He has published full-length interviews with Chicago mayor Richard J. Daley, actor Bill Murray, director Martin Scorsese, and comedy legend George Carlin, to name a few.

In addition, English is a screenwriter and has penned episodes for the television crime dramas “NYPD Blue” and “Homicide,” for which he was awarded the prestigious Humanitas Prize.

His next book, THE SAVAGE CITY – Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge, is coming out this March.

He lives in New York City.

You can find out more about him at his website.


3 comments to Narco Americano

  • Anthony

    Good show,,, but i was wondering if you all have interviewed William Blum,, th author of Rogue state and killing…

    Would enjoy the history lesson and the possibilities of American involvement in Egypt…


  • Dyjykell

    They’re adopting terroristic techniques from Alqaeda?
    How about from the CIA,,,,,the funding for the dope trade comes from big business who pay for the harvest and shipping just like any other mexican product,,,,,,,,NAFTA

    It’s pretty safe to say truthfully that the Mexican govt is co-operating with all interests in the billion dollar market American businesses has created—-let’s face it,,., it’s identical to the days of prohibition,, only we got journalists now reporting as if we’re still back in the good guy/bad guy generation which has always been the illusion handed to the public— they arrest ppl now only to get rid of someones competition..

    Sometimes I wonder about how much the media is paid to keep this wholesome image about good and evil… I feel sorry for those who really still believe it’s anything different.. The world is run by gangsters who will do anything for the growth of profits and when the real bad guys are caught I believe we’re all be disappointed that they look nothing like the evil protrayed in the media..

    The way i figure it,, this current “tipping point” is nothing but someone wanting a larger slice of the pie,, and so I imagine we’ll call them the bad guys! Nice show!

  • […] an interview with T.J. English talking about "Narco Americano" on the Expert Witness Radio Show, then stop downtown for a Q&A at the event. Heads up: after party at The Tap, of course. /* […]

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