The Dragonhead by John Sack
The Godfather of Chinese Crime--His Rise and Fall

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Distinguished journalist John Sack spent twelve years fearlessly shadowing and befriending the most powerful crime lord in the Chinese Mafia. Now he tells the true, unfictionalized story of mob legend Johnny Kon–“the Dragonhead.”

The Chinese Mafia has always been a mystery to both law enforcement and the media–part of an unapproachable and unfathomable conglomeration of secret societies operating worldwide. To this day, though, police and prosecutors insist that Johnny Kon’s own secret organization–the Big Circle–is public enemy number one. Now, in a triumph of literary journalism, John Sack introduces us to this secret world and its top criminal mastermind, reporting from the homes, hotel rooms, crime scenes, and jail cells of Johnny and his gang, all reported with their full cooperation. It is a journalistic coup.

From Kon’s escape from poverty in China and his golden years as a smuggler during the Vietnam War, The Dragonhead traces Johnny’s rapid rise to power and chronicles the growth of his heroin cartel, as it smuggles a billion dollars worth of drugs into the United States. With astonishing savvy, Sack reveals the humanity behind the previously impenetrable wall of the Chinese and American underworlds, rife with shocking crimes, bound by unforgiving codes of honor. At once a loyal husband and father and a ruthless crime boss, Johnny Kon is by turns fascinating and repellent, but ultimately unforgettable.

About John Sack

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JOHN SACK is a founder of literary journalism, the one new literary form of the twentieth century. He has been a journalist for fifty-five years. He was a reporter in North and South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia; a contributor to The New Yorker, a contributing editor to Esquire, a writer, producer, and special correspondent for CBS News, and the author of ten non-fiction books.
Published October 16, 2001 by Crown. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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the herky-jerky narrative is reminiscent of a badly dubbed martial-arts flick, and it does not help that Sack often renders dialogue in pidgin (“ ‘And you selling what kind gifts?’ / ‘Watches, cameras, jewelries—’ / ‘Oh, you selling everything.’ / ‘You name it, we sell it.

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