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To Kill the Irishman - Danny Greene and the War that Crippled the Mafia

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  350 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews

The story of Irish-American racketeer Danny Greene and his war with the Mafia. Basis for the film Kill the Irishman starring Ray Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, with Val Kilmer and Christopher Walken.

Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 11th 2011 by Next Hat Press (first published October 1998)
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Apr 04, 2012 Rick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Katie, Christina, Dave, and anyone else who has cleveland connections
Shelves: history
I was living in Cleveland at the time Danny Greene's ascendency in the world of organized crime. I frequently heard rumors that gangsters were active in Murray Hill (Little Italy). It turns out those rumors were true. And the Mafia didn't like Danny Greene.
Jun 30, 2016 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Who would guess that the most compelling Mafia story ever would be in a self-published book that takes place in Cleveland and features an Irishman as the main character? If the story sounds multi-faceted, consider the author: Rick Porrello, a descendent of early Mafiosi and a distinguished police chief, is also a talented jazz drummer who used to play with Sammy Davis Jr. Here, Rick's writing is not yet to the level he reaches in later books such as "Superthief," but no matter - "To Kill the Iri ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is full of interesting facts and a very compelling story. However, it is not well written and even more poorly edited. It is packed with grammar and spelling mistakes that make it difficult for me to focus on the writing. Things like "Unitied States" or "the guy left town because he is a loaner" really take away from an author's point in my opinion. Too bad.
Feb 28, 2010 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: True Crime Fans
An interesting book which delves into the dark underworld of crime in 1970's Cleveland, Ohio. I was impressed with the level of detail that Porrello explored in this book about his subject, but my critique of it is that is read like an outline. It was incredibly formulaic in its story and followed a very generalized sequence.

So from a difficulty standpoint, it's quite easy to read; perhaps the most challenging concept was that I could have had more understanding of the inter-relationships betwee
Mar 13, 2011 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I was very interested in this book after I read his other book about the Cleveland Mafia. It was a good read and interesting to hear about the Cleveland underground. However, the book was a bit shallow at points where the relationships between the members was passed over for the action. There were a lot of names thrown out in the book and at times it was difficult to figure out/remember what everyone's role was and how it related to Danny Greene.
May 23, 2013 Nikki rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
I am from Youngstown and grew up on stories about the Youngstown/Cleveland/Pittsburgh mafia, so the subject matter was of particular interest to me. Author Rick Porrello is a police officer by trade, not a writer, and it shows. It reads more like a text, listing events and facts, rather than a narrative. He clearly did his homework, though, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about true crime, history and/or mob stories.
Apr 23, 2011 Ray rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
I'm currently living in the Cleveland and thought this would be a great history of the mafia in this area. There was a lot of research done here and it shows. The writing was very simple anyone could read and follow along. A good book all in all.
Nov 25, 2009 Matt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book was not well written overall. It is non-fiction, but it seems the author tried to write it as a novel and failed. He ends up spitting out too many names and facts and not explaining the story deeply enough. Despite this, I enjoyed learning a bit about the history of the Cleveland mafia.
Aug 07, 2016 Marley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My academic field is organized crime, but for some reason I'd not read this book before. Surprising since I remember Danny Greene,Shondor Burns, Angelo Leonardo and actually know through second degree of separation, some of the guys in this book, particularly Ronnie Carrabia, Joey Naples, and the Licovolis..

All-in-all I liked the book. It refreshed my memory and also clarified some questions I've had for years. Lots of good pictures. It also left a lot of (for me) picky questions. Like how did S
May 29, 2016 Victoria rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Although it was interesting to read about the mafia in Cleveland's recent history, I had a hard time getting through this book because of the way it was laid out and written. It reminded me of those term papers I had to write where I had strips of paper with one sentence thoughts written down and I had to arrange them in some sort of cohesive manner. Add to that editorial and grammatical errors that interfered with the flow of sentences (and there were many of those errors). I wish anyone else b ...more
A well-written, well-documented account of the rise and ultimate fall of Danny Greene (as well as most of his adversaries). But surprisingly brief—especially when read as an eBook.

Just past the 60% point, the main story ends; then comes several pages of source material, followed by a series of very brief vignettes about other related individuals. Overall, rather disappointing, for this reason only.

TJ English's Paddy Whacked includes a fantastic chapter on Danny Greene and the Cleveland mob wars
David Platt
Jan 12, 2013 David Platt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book illustrates the collapse of the mafia in northeast Ohio during the late 70's; and in many ways explains why my father took the family to Wyoming in 1978 as Northeast Ohio was nothing but a volcano in constant eruption.The Author Mr. Rick Porello writes what i believe is an unbiased view, and factual accounts on the History of the Mafia in Northeast Ohio..I also recommend reading Porello's other book "corn, blood, sugar history of the Cleveland mafia"..Anyone who follows the history Of ...more
Oct 22, 2008 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nick and Meghan
Shelves: true-crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rhonda Keith
Jun 26, 2012 Rhonda Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was living in NE Ohio when this story took place though oblivious to mob activity. True story of Danny Greene written by Cleveland police chief Rick Porrello. Greene rose to some sort of power in the Cleveland dock workers union, and in crime. He died comparatively young in a car bombing, and the investigation into his death led to the arrests of Mafiosi all over the country. Greene was one of those rather appealing criminals, a self-romanticizing Celtic warrior with spots of gold in his letha ...more
Ethnea Ferguson
I've been meaning to read this book for awhile - as the central story is about a mob murder of Danny Green that happened here in Cleveland in Oct of 1977 - just 2 years after we moved here. There were a lot of interesting (Cleveland centric) things in the book. The writing was very poor - they made a movie of this book - I'll have to see if it's on Netflix, unless you're interested in Cleveland History or the mob in general - I wouldn't recommend it.
Emily Wiersma
Sep 04, 2012 Emily Wiersma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written, well researched I loved this book. I've always had a fascination with the mafia but I knew nothing about the Cleveland mafia or the fact that perhaps it still exists though nothing like it was in its heyday. It was very striking that Danny Greene had his hand in a few bombings and in money making schemes but he couldn't be touched because he was an F.B.I. informat which makes me wonder how much more he would have gotten away with had he not been killed.
Double C
About an average read. My biggest gripe was that I picked this book up looking for the story of Danny Greene as the main character. As the vowel at the end of this author's name should indicate, the story was more focused on the mafiosi to whom Danny Greene was a thorn in their side. An interesting read nonetheless.
Kevin Arth
Mar 20, 2011 Kevin Arth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Awesome book. I saw the movie on opening day and they kind of make Danny Green out to be a hero. Only in reading the book and getting to know the mob connections do you start to realize he was really just another thug. Still a fascinating story. I still can't help being somewhat in awe of his life, even if it was mostly that of a criminal.
Jul 10, 2012 Anthony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fbi
The Italian mobsters have nothing on this Irish megalomaniac. Like all villains he died as he lived. Some looked him as a colorful Irish hero. In reality he was a thug like all gangsters irrepectve of ethnicity. He certainly, by his demise made a lot of careers both in the Clevelad PD and Cleveland FBI.
Oct 11, 2013 Edward rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting book about a time I vaguely remember when I lived in Cleveland. There's not a good guy in the bunch, but then it is about the mob and the man who, as the title says, crippled it. A fairly quick read and worth it if you're interested in one bit of the history of the Mafia, and of Cleveland.
May 17, 2012 Ben rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Born and raise in Cleveland and personally familiar with some of the people in the book, I found this a fascinating read. The writing is decent, but not great; the storyline, however, is gripping. The film could have been much better.
Teresa Haas
In depth story of Danny Greene, the Irish American that brought down the Cleveland Mafia. Lots of names, lots of familiar places. Makes me miss Little Italy in Cleveland. Very interesting. I had no idea that Cleveland was bomb city usa in the early 70s, all due to Danny Greene.
Jul 26, 2008 Walt rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: organized-crime
Written by a former policeman with an easy writing style. This is a good book that chronicles the downfall of the Cleveland Mafia. I am a little disappointed that Porello seems to glorify Danny Greene and demean the Italians. Both factions were violent criminals.
Aug 08, 2011 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book about Cleveland's Mafia history! All the cities in the book are very familiar to me since I grew up in the area. I had no idea that Cleveland had the 'honor' of being the car bomb capital in the late 70's. Easy to read.
May 04, 2011 Janet rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Book was fascinating. I had never read a nonfiction book but wanted to read this since it took place in the area I grew up. I held my attention and continues discussion even after finishing the book. I am so glad I read it ... will definitely see the movie.
Adrianne Ambrose
Aug 03, 2011 Adrianne Ambrose rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always remembered Cleveland in the 70s being rather lawless and I guess now I know why. If you are interested in the mafia or the downfall of the mafia, this is a must read. If you are from Cleveland, also a must read. Otherwise, still pretty good.
Jan 04, 2013 Lauren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and frightening at the same time to read about Cleveland's mafia figures. Most of the book covers the time period in the 70's when I was in high school and college. Porello does a nice job of bring depth to Danny Greene.
It was a very interesting book from a historical perspective. It was poorly written though - the grammar left much to be desired, and while there was a lot of information, it read like a book of facts, rather than a story.
Jan 24, 2016 Wayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was simply amazing! It's crazy to think that a crooked, yet defiant Irish guy in Cleveland led to the unraveling of the La Cosa Nostra network of Mob families across the United States.
Thomas Mcmillen
Well, it was no "Goodfellas". Decent book and growing up as a northern Ohio boy, I remember much of the tale. Think I prefer the newspaper stories.
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Rick Porrello is a Greater Cleveland police officer with Mafia roots. He is also the author of The Rise and Fall of the Cleveland Mafia. Porrello began writing his first book during research into the murders of his grandfather and three uncles who were mob leaders killed in Prohibition-era, bootleg violence. The book quickly became a regional favorite. Porrello is an accomplished jazz musician and ...more
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