During the last three decades of the 19th century our homegrown version of the Mafia was the Irish-American secret society called the Molly Maguires. Organized vengeance, especially against mine owners, was their specialty and they terrorized the hard-coal counties of Pennsylvania. They served ""coffin notices"" on non-resident owners and non-Irish people in the area until, finally, the President of the Reading Railroad had a Pinkerton detective infiltrate the ""Brotherhood."" James MacParlan joined them and licked them, gathering enough evidence to convict and hang 20 Mollies. Much of the story is told from MacParlan's reports and other documents of the period. The Mollies' reign of terror makes appalling, exciting history.