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Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society: America's Original Gangsters and the U.S. Postal Detective Who Brought Them to Justice

Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society: America's Original Gangsters and the U.S. Postal Detective Who Brought Them to Justice Inspector Oldfield and the Black Hand Society: America's Original Gangsters and the U.S. Postal Detective Who Brought Them to Justice by William Oldfield, Vicotria Bruce

Synopsis -Before the emergence of prohibition-era gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano, there was the Black Hand: an early twentieth-century Sicilian-American crime ring that preyed on immigrants from the old country. In those days, the FBI was in its infancy, and local law enforcement were clueless against the dangers. Terrorized victims rarely spoke out, and the criminals ruled with terror—until Inspector Frank Oldfield came along.

In 1899, Oldfield became America’s 156th Post Office Inspector—joining the ranks of the most powerful federal law enforcement agents in the country. Based in Columbus, Ohio, the unconventional Oldfield brilliantly took down train robbers, murderers, and embezzlers from Ohio to New York to Maryland. Oldfield was finally able to penetrate the dreaded Black Hand when a tip-off put him onto the most epic investigation of his career, culminating in the 1909 capture of sixteen mafiosos in a case that spanned four states, two continents—and ended in the first international organized crime conviction in the country.

Hidden away by the Oldfield family for one hundred years and covered-up by rival factions in the early 20th century Post Office Department, this incredible true story out of America’s turn-of-the-century heartland will captivate all lovers of history and true crime. “I tip my hat to Inspector Oldfield. He was way ahead of his time and his efforts are magnificently relived in this book” (Daniel L. Mihalko, former Postal Inspector in Charge, Congressional & Public Affairs).

Book Review- Who knew? Well maybe you did, but I definitely had no idea that the role of Post Office Inspector held such power and could at times be dangerous and fascinating. This work of nonficion is a rich mix of the Oldfield family's rich history through the sharing of their stories and of real-world fiction. 

In this story, Oldfield & Bruce recount how the Black Hand (Italian mafia) used the postal service to threaten immigrants. I for one had never heard of the Black Hand or knew why or how the US Postal Service was created.  The authors did a great job of giving the reader a quick history lesson that included introducing interesting people like William Goddard. Granted this is not my favorite genre as I use reading as a way to escape the real world, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. 
I listened to the audio version and the narrator did a great job holding my interest.  The cadence and inflections in which he delivered this piece of history were well done. I think history buffs will devour this book. You can get your own copy by clicking the image below and supporting the authors by leaving a review.  



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