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The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld

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4.11  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  35 reviews

“A mob saga that has it all—brotherhood and betrayal, swaggering power and glittering success, and a Godfather whose reach seems utterly unrivaled. What a relentless, irresistible read.”

— Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of The Force

A fascinating, cinematic, multigenerational history of the Cuban mob in the US from "America’s top chronicler of organized

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Kindle Edition, 592 pages
Published March 20th 2018 by William Morrow (first published March 13th 2018)
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Average rating 4.11  · 
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Alex
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: miami-midnight
I was predisposed to like this book - being Cuban-American, a crime writer particularly obsessed with the mob and a fan of TJ English's past Cuba book - the superb HAVANA NOCTURNE, so take this review with that in mind.

It wasn't surprising to learn, after reading the book, that the writing of it was spurred by Hollywood - the story of Jose Miguel Battle is as cinematic and dramatic as any mob movie, with flashes of The Godfather, Goodfellas and Scarface. English's research is comprehensive and
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Bookteafull (Danny)
Dec 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-people
That moment when my father tells me not to review a book on the Cuban mafia and organized crime because "friends are implicated."

#yikes
Aleks
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a gripping book. I heard about it first on the Joe Rogan Podcast when the author was a guest.

It's definitely an ambitious tale, you can tell by the length, time span, and the amount of characters it attempts to cover. The story of the Cuban mafia is a hidden gem, just like Bolita is a hidden gem in the world of crime. It often goes unnoticed compared to the Mafia, black gangs like the Bloods and Crips, the Colombian cartels, and the infamous cocaine crime era.

Jose Miguel Battle,
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Michael Pancier
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like crime and mob histories this one is a good one. Don't agree with the author on some items where he tends to get his facts from Cuban government spokesmen; but his narrative of the criminal activity and the players is done very well.
Jorge A Barriere-Mendez
I was not able to get away from the non-stop reading of The Corporation by T J English. From the moment I found out about this book and the connection with my soon to be published novel, Papi's Lover, it became a must-read.
Having personally known Jose Miguel Battle and my involvement with the world of "La Bolita", it immediately sparked my interest in the book's content and legitimacy.
While there are many anecdotes still to be told and information on how "La Bolita" business operated, the
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Paul Basile
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book I have read this year.
Manny
Nov 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book. It struck a cord with me specifically, because growing up in a Cuban family with Cubans all around, "bolita" (illegal numbers racket) was a normal thing we were used to seeing. I had close family members that were "boliteros" (racketeers placing and taking bets). This book takes place in many of the places I remember growing up around.

The book starts out during the pre-Castro era, when Batista was the Scum Bag de'jour. The irony, which I did not know until reading the
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Andrew Tollemache
Apr 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
TJ English has once again added another great volume to his ongoing series of books on ethnic organized crime in America with 'The Corporation". Having already done 2 books on Irish mobsters, The Mob in Cuba and Vietnamese mafia, English has written a lengthy tale of the Cuban Mafia. Centered around a clique of former Bay of Pigs veterans who once released from Castro's gaols came to the US to run their own version of the "Numbers Racket" in the NY/NJ and Miami area. Centered around one Jose ...more
Amanda (Books, Life and Everything Nice)
I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. As always, an honest review.

The Corporation is exactly what it sounds like; a story of the Cuban American underworld complete with crime, murder, deception, illegal gambling, and much more. Except to me the story wasn't epic like the title claims. I learned a lot from the book, which I had hoped since it's over 500 pages! Some parts were interesting, but a lot of it was very fact heavy, filled with overwhelming amounts of information.
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Jose
Mar 23, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The Corporation by TJ English once again proves anyone can be a writer in this modern day digital age and where sources are an illegimate and murderous Regime like the Castros and The Cuban Military, we have so many "experts" such as Julia Sweig, Peter Kornbluh,Louise Bardach and Louis Perez and of Course that Spy Marifeli Perez-Stable on Cuba, Exiles,The disapora and of course "Evil" Immoral Pre-Castro Cuba. Yet is it not immoral to send 15 year old kids to the firing squad during the ...more
Pete daPixie
When I spotted this book on my local library's 'new publications' shelf, a brief perusal of its contents promised to possibly shed light on a related subject matter that I hold an interest in. Having recently read two volumes of Professor John Newman's projected five volume opus on the JFK assassination, I considered whether any of Newman's named operatives, cryptonyms and pseudonyms may possibly turn up in T.J. English's research. Apart from the few obvious, well known references, I drew a ...more
Bimal Patel
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating and thrilling story of Cuban American Underworld by T.J. English. This is almost an investigative journalism account of the Godfather of Cuban mafia, a product of failed American Diplomacy with Cuba turned mob boss, a story of a decorated war hero of Bay of Pigs invasion. What started as a small time gambling venture morphed into an enterprise(The Corporation) involving putting out hits, racketeering, money laundering, drugs business under the leadership of Jose Miguel Battle who was ...more
Michael O'keefe
Nov 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The comprehensive study of a once honorable life, destroyed by delusion and hubris.

The Corporation, by T. J. English is the most detailed chronicle of a ruined life I have ever read. The main character evolves throughout the book from an honorable revolutionary and war hero into a monstrosity of evil, power and greed ultimately becoming a perfect sociopath. English captures the true nature of a RICO investigation. Unfortunately, the single-minded obsession of the lead investigator exposed him as
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Peg
Full disclosure -I received this book as a giveaway although not required to give a review. I found the writing to be pretty thorough and moves the reader easily through time and places. I feel at times certain parts were so in depth to prove it's point, it lost it and other times I was left with some questions. You can easily see the parts where the author is biased but it's not difficult to see past that. I learned a few things I didn't know, a few things that were very interesting trivia and ...more
Pat
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I received a free copy of "The Corporation: An Epic Story of the Cuban American Underworld" by T. J. English, through the "Good Reads First Reads Giveaway."

This is a lucid and detailed look at the Cuban American Criminal World. This book is both well researched and well written, given the reader historic information about heroes becoming criminals. Although, the book reads like a series of short novels, it seems to represent true history. "The Corporation" had to involve tremendous research and
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F Thomas Andino
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Crime and History Crushes Egos and Fortunes

There is nothing better than a great crime story especially if it’s from a history that few of us know about.

I grew in NJ and it certainly related to many of the things I saw as a young adult but did not fully understand until this book.

Well researched and organized and a book you don’t want to put down. I need to find out what else this author wrote for my next read.
Michael Halloun
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great deep dive in roots of Miami underworld

T.J. English’s masterful writing makes this historical account an easy read. Highly recommended for anyone interested in organized crime history or just great story telling. English brings the Battles to life and never loses sight of the battle between greed and pride that led to the creation and ultimate downfall of the Corporation.
Lukas Holmes
May 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway and could not have been more excited. I started reading English after The Westies and he's just so good. Nothing changes here (though I have to admit to not understanding the history of Cuba as well as I do New York and the Irish mob) but don't worry, he gives it all to you. Another stellar work.
Betty
Jun 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oliver
Aug 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
meticulously researched, vivid details into events in Cubans' lives, disgusting what horrific things many will do for power and money, and at times long. Even still, English compiled over 40 years of the Bolita business in New York into 20 hours.
Angela
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A must read for first generation Cuban-Americans

It is important to know what our people have contributed to the American society good and bad. This well written, informative, and factual book is a must read.
Gale Schulman
Jan 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After meeting him and listening to how he did this research I had a new appreciation for the length of the novel and the repetition that sometimes slowed me down . Fascinating insight to the Cuban culture in large areas of our country .
Alison Sumprer
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up on a whim and let me just say, I am so happy I did. I'm not well versed on Cuba or the Cuban mob in the US, but I could not put this down. It is a fascinating, ambitious chronicle that delivers on all points. I loved it and highly recommend it.
Booknerd Fraser
Big, if somewhat scattered tale of a corrupt Cuban cop who came to dominate the numbers racket in the U.S.
Chad Rea
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A rollercoaster of a good read

Brilliant well worth the read,Intriguing from start to finish.Holds the reader captivated throughout.This book is well researched .Go on get it.
Stephen Jones
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great read! Details at times seemed excessive or boring, but very interesting
Sarahkuzma
I was disappointed in the portrayal of women in this book.
Rob
Jul 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Fascinating look into the Cuban Mob and how the US involvement in overturning Castro led to it forming.
AARON G KRUEGER
Aug 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Reads like a movie

Lots of great stories in starts and fits, reads just like an episodic series or long format movie. To me not as great as Havana Nocturn but still a great read.
Jeramey
Oct 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The opening was difficult for me to follow and then by page 50 I became so enthralled I couldn’t put it down.
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T.J. English is an author, journalist and screenwriter with an emphasis on organized crime, the criminal underworld, and the criminal justice system. Many of his books have been New York Times bestsellers, including THE SAVAGE CITY, HAVANA NOCTURNE, PADDY WHACKED, and WHERE THE BODIES WERE BURIED. In 2013, a collection of his journalism was published under the title WHITEY'S PAYBACK, an anthology ...more