Sunday, 22 April 2012

Outlaws: Inside the Hell’s Angel Biker Wars (2012)

“Outlaws: Inside the Hell’s Angel Biker Wars” by Tony Thompson provides a quick fire and therefore slightly superficial canter through the history of the MC movement. The book is written from a British perspective and gives a reasonable account of the development of the MC scene in the UK. It focuses, in the main, on the Midland Outlaws MC, their growth from the nascent Pagans MC to become part of the American Outlaw Association. That leads the book to portray the Outlaws as the “good guys” and other MC, particularly the Hells Angels as the “bad guys”. The style is breathless and flows more like a novel. Some incidents are, however, embellished and some are factually inaccurate – the mid-70s attack by the Ratae MC on the Pagans clubhouse is, for example, highly dubious. The “Great Nordic Biker War” gets some decent coverage and the final chapter, which looks at the expansion of new MC, such as the Bandidos and the Mongols, in Europe is very interesting. A very readable, high-octane book – some of which, however, has to be treated with caution and some of it taken with a very heavy “pinch-of-salt”.

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