Reviews Page 1
"Tenacious, riveting, hair-raising reportage." The Financial Times.
"Grillo's strength is that while he draws the broad patterns of the raging conflict, he also zooms in on the peculiarities of each front." The Times.
"An absorbing work of reportage," Ian Thomson in the Telegraph.
"Sterling work on the front lines, from Brazil’s broken megacities to the insanely violent ‘garrisons’ of Kingston, Jamaica." The Spectator.
"Grillo is a breathtakingly intrepid reporter, diving in where police fear to tread, seeking out men who wouldn’t hesitate to kill him. He profiles some of the ‘puzzling postmodern networks that mix gangs, mafia, death squads, religious cults and urban guerrillas’.
"An excellent work derived from a number of years of intimate interviews and field reports," Small Wars Journal.
“A vitally important book.” — Library Journal (starred review)
“A striking exploration of the horrors of mass violence in the Western Hemisphere, with the author offering hope that radical policies could provide positive change.” — Kirkus Reviews Read Full Review
“Grillo dissects Latin America’s narco world, both its mechanics and its culture, with a precision and firsthand knowledge that is astounding. There has quite simply never been a book like this before, one that not only examines the broader currents that allow the drug trade to flourish, but animates that discussion with intimate portraits of both its practitioners and victims. Taut and endlessly revelatory, Gangster Warlords is required reading for anyone who seeks to understand the drug wars taking place in Latin America today – and especially for any Americans who might imagine it’s just 'their' problem.” — Scott Anderson, bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East
"Grillo's new book is steely-eyed and sensitive reporting on the criminal kings at the front-lines of the continental catastrophe called the war on drugs.” — Daniel Hernandez, author of Down & Delirious in Mexico City
“Something new and terrible is happening in the Americas. It has murdered a million people in ten years, and yet we don’t fully understand it. Until now. Combining hair-raising reporting with erudite analysis, Grillo has written an indispensable guide to the new world disorder.” — Richard Grant, author of God's Middle Finger: Into the Lawless Heart of the Sierra Madre
“Reading Gangster Warlords is a like riding shotgun through the darkest battlefields of the drug war with a hardboiled narcotics detective at the wheel. You won't want to get out of the car. With terrific storytelling and analytical sweep, Grillo’s guided tour lays bare the interconnected nature of 21st century crime and drug trafficking in the Americas. His warlords are the region's new insurgents, offering no ideology beyond power and riches. The ripples of their violence reach further than we tend to acknowledge. And they aren't going away any time soon.” — Nick Miroff, Latin America correspondent, The Washington Post
"The stories in Gangster Warlords offer a dramatic portrait of a region torn by poverty, dysfunctional politics and the bloody allure of crime. Grillo has written a riveting Latin American tragedy. If only it were fiction." — León Krauze, Univision
“Superbly reported, Gangster Walords offers a searching look into crime groups across Latin America and examines how the region got into the violent mess it is in. Ioan Grillo delves deep to deliver grisly detail in sharp focus with the skill of a born raconteur. Just like El Narco, this is a page-turner, despite the tough subject matter.” — Jude Webber, Mexico and Central America correspondent, Financial Times
“Ioan Grillo captures the power and the horror of the Latin American drug cartels with unrivaled reporting and riveting writing. With Gangster Warlords, he once again proves his mastery of interweaving the broader context with vivid, on-the-ground journalism to provide readers with a street level view of a complex war fought without clear front lines.” — Matthew Heineman, director of Sundance winner, Cartel Land
"Taking his readers for a walk through some of the world's most dangerous streets, Ioan Grillo has produced a crucial travel guide of the murky world of Latin America's criminal fiefdoms. Enriched by narcotics trafficking and other rackets, these mostly non-ideological capos and their armies of young gunmen threaten the region's often shaky governments and institutions, as much or more as the armed insurgencies of decades past. This is shoe leather reporting at its very best: honest, insightful and engrossing." — Jose de Cordoba, correspondent, The Wall Street Journal
“Grillo’s remarkable new book takes us behind the blood soaked headlines in Mexico and courageously connects the footprints of a beast ravaging the continent, from Central to South America to the Caribbean. The haunting journey is chilling. The reporting first-rate. The lessons sobering, long after you finish Gangsters Warlords.” — Alfredo Corchado, author of Midnight in Mexico
“At first I didn't know what to think. However, I was pleasantly surprised. Great writing and thought provoking ideas. This will definitely start a lot of necessary conversations." — Felipe Coronel aka Immortal Technique