Analyzes Depression-era bank robbery and its most notorious figures, discussing the factors that influenced the period's crime rates, the formation and early work of the FBI, and the contributions of J. Edgar Hoover.
In Public Enemies, bestselling author Bryan Burrough strips away the thick layer of myths put out by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI to tell the full story—for the first time—of the most spectacular crime wave in American history, the two-year battle between the young Hoover and the assortment of criminals who became national icons: John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and the Barkers. In an epic feat of storytelling and drawing on a remarkable amount of newly available material on all the major figures involved, Burrough reveals a web of interconnections within the vast American underworld and demonstrates how Hoover’s G-men overcame their early fumbles to secure the FBI’s rise to power.
Author: Paul Maccabee
Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
Release Date: 2014-11-22
Genre: True Crime
"Paul Maccabee's John Dillinger Slept Here is not just one of the best books ever written about Minneapolis-St. Paul, it is one of the best books of local history I have ever read -- about any city anywhere on Earth. While writing `Public Enemies' I kept it on my desk at all times. I daresay one cannot call himself a real Minnesotan if you haven't read it. The book is just that darned good." --Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and Birth of the FBI, 1933-34,the basis for Public Enemies, the movie starring Johnny Depp This book is based on more than 100,000 pages of FBI files and wiretaps, prison and police records, and mob confessions. Interviews with 250 crime victims, policemen, gun molls, and family members of criminals bring these public enemies to life. Crime historian Paul Maccabee takes you inside the bank robberies, gangland assassinations, and police intrigue of St. Paul's 1920s and1930s gangster era. You'll also find Crooks' Tour maps and more than 130 rare FBI, police, and family photographs.
Author: Dary Matera
Publisher: Da Capo Press
Release Date: 2005-05-20
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
John Dillinger is an adrenaline-fueled narrative that reignites America's fascination with the suave and deadly desperado who became the FBI's first Public Enemy, whose story—until now—has been riddled with rumors and fiction. Dillinger and his bank-robbing gang cut a criminal swath never to be equaled, thrilling a nation in the throes of the Great Depression. When caught, Dillinger staged one of the most harrowing prison escapes imaginable—only to finally be betrayed by the infamous "Lady in Red." John Dillinger brings to light bank robberies never before reported; detailed plans for major crimes that Dillinger nearly implemented; the revelation that the Lady in Red was actually a police plant; and the startling motives behind John Dillinger's execution by rogue FBI agents. With access to the thousands of sources collected in the world's foremost Dillinger archives—including dozens of photographs—New York Times bestselling author Matera describes every robbery, shoot-out, and prison escape as though he had choreographed them himself.
Author: Marc Mappen
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 2013-06-06
Genre: True Crime
Master story teller Marc Mappen applies a generational perspective to the gangsters of the Prohibition era—men born in the quarter century span from 1880 to 1905—who came to power with the Eighteenth Amendment. On January 16, 1920, the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution went into effect in the United States, “outlawing the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors.” A group of young criminals from immigrant backgrounds in cities around the nation stepped forward to disobey the law of the land in order to provide alcohol to thirsty Americans. Today the names of these young men—Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Dutch Schultz, Legs Diamond, Nucky Johnson—are more familiar than ever, thanks in part to such cable programs as Boardwalk Empire. Here, Mappen strips way the many myths and legends from television and movies to describe the lives these gangsters lived and the battles they fought. Placing their criminal activities within the context of the issues facing the nation, from the Great Depression, government crackdowns, and politics to sexual morality, immigration, and ethnicity, he also recounts what befell this villainous group as the decades unwound. Making use of FBI and other government files, trial transcripts, and the latest scholarship, the book provides a lively narrative of shootouts, car chases, courtroom clashes, wire tapping, and rub-outs in the roaring 1920s, the Depression of the 1930s, and beyond. Mappen asserts that Prohibition changed organized crime in America. Although their activities were mercenary and violent, and they often sought to kill one another, the Prohibition generation built partnerships, assigned territories, and negotiated treaties, however short lived. They were able to transform the loosely associated gangs of the pre-Prohibition era into sophisticated, complex syndicates. In doing so, they inspired an enduring icon—the gangster—in American popular culture and demonstrated the nation’s ideals of innovation and initiative. View a three minute video of Marc Mappen speaking about Prohibition Gangsters.
Recounts how Texas oil transformed wealth and power in America through the stories of the state's four most influential oil families, tracing how they rose from modest backgrounds, shaped the government, and bankrolled the rise of modern conservatism.
In 1933 a crime wave blazed across America. Fuelled by cheap liquor and fast cars, gangs of chancers, bank robbers, gunslingers and their molls cut a murderous, cash-snatching dash through the US - and became legends. Among them were homicidal Baby Face Nelson, outlaws Bonnie and Clyde, cranky hillbilly Ma Barker and, most deadly of all, the suave gentleman criminal John Dillinger. This is the breakneck story of America's most wanted, and their nemesis: J.Edgar Hoover and his strong-arm law enforcers, the agents of the FBI. Using shocking secret files and eyewitness accounts, Public Enemies reveals the facts about the crime spree that shook America.
Before John Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson made the term "Public Enemy" famous, there was Alvin Karpis--one of the ruthless leaders of the Barker-Karpis gang. It was him that J. Edgar Hoover first thought worthy of the title Public Enemy In a page-turning style, this true crime book traces his criminal orgins from his young days as a bootlegger to his ultimate demise.
Author: George Russell Girardin
Publisher: Indiana University Press
Release Date: 2004-12-31
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
A comprehensive overview of the criminal career of Dillinger recounts how he repeatedly eluded capture, managed to evade the efforts of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, and was eventually betrayed by "The Woman in Red." Reprint. (True Crime)
Author: James Ellroy
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-01-31
Reportage and fiction from the underside of LA. James Ellroy is a unique and powerful writer with a tough and explosive voice. His obsession with the dark side of L. A. is personal and vital, triggered by the murder of his mother when he was ten. This defining event spawned an early addiction to paperback crime novels, and Ellroy's own writing is saturated in an often violent underworld of bent cops, politicians, stars, sleeze and rumour. Ellroy exploits memory, history, fact and fiction with relentless energy and panache. What emerges is an intense, mythical version of tinseltown in the second half of the twentieth century.
Author: Stanley Hamilton
Release Date: 2003
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
The author lovingly recreates the 1933 manhunt for one of the most notorious criminals in the era of gangsters, Machine Gun Kelly, setting the intensive law-enforcement efforts against the backdrop of the lawlessness of the era and offering profiles of such key figures as George "Machine Gun" Kelly and J. Edgar Hoover. (True Crime)
Exposes how American Express used ruthless tactics to destroy the reputation of its competitor, Swiss banker Edmond Safra. This is a dramatic true crime story of corporate espionage and dirty dealing in the powerful world of international banking. Moving from the American Express offices in New York City to a luxurious estate in the South of France to secret meetings with government officials in Peru, it involves a rift between two men who have millions of dollars at stake, the shadowy peddling of information and a cast of characters that includes some of the most influential and successful bankers of the 80s.
The Weathermen. The Symbionese Liberation Army. The FALN. The Black Liberation Army. The names seem quaint now, but there was a stretch of time in America when there was on average more than one significant terrorist act in the U.S. every week. The FBI combated these groups and others as nodes in a single revolutionary underground, dedicated to the violent overthrow of the American government. Thus began a decade-long battle between the FBI and these homegrown terrorists, compellingly and thrillingly documented in Days of Rage.