Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 25, 2016 - Biography & Autobiography - 416 pages
From a National Book Award-winning biographer, the first complete life of legendary gangster Al Capone to be produced with the cooperation of his family, who provided the author with exclusive access to personal testimony and archival documents.

From his heyday to the present moment, Al Capone—Public Enemy Number One—has gripped popular imagination. Rising from humble Brooklyn roots, Capone went on to become the most infamous gangster in American history. At the height of Prohibition, his multimillion-dollar Chicago bootlegging, prostitution, and gambling operation dominated the organized-crime scene. His competition with rival gangs was brutally violent, a long-running war that crested with the shocking St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929. Law enforcement and the media elite seemed powerless to stop the growth of his empire. And then the fall: a legal noose tightened by the FBI, a conviction on tax evasion, Alcatraz. After his release he returned to his family in Miami a much diminished man, living quietly until the ravages of his neurosyphilis took their final toll. But the slick mobster persona endures, immortalized in countless novels and movies.
á á áThe true flesh-and-blood man behind the legend has long remained a mystery. Unscrupulous newspaper accounts and Capone’s own tall tales perpetuated his mystique, but through dogged research Deirdre Bair debunks the most outrageous of these myths. With the help of Capone’s descendants, she discovers his essential humanity, uncovering a complex character that was flawed and sometimes cruel but also capable of nobility. And while revealing the private Al Capone, a genuine family man asáremembered by those who knew him best, Bair relates how his descendants have borne his weighty legacy.
á á áRigorous and intimate, Al Capone provides new answers to the enduring questions about this fascinating figure, who was equal parts charismatic gangster, devoted patriarch, and calculating monster.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

5463. Al Capone His Life, Legacy, and Legend, by Deirdre Bair (read 21 Apr 2017) This is a 2016 book and decries the errors in the other biographies of Capone, but has no bibliography and its source ... Read full review

Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend

User Review  - Publishers Weekly

National Book Award-winning biographer Bair (Samuel Beckett) interrogates the notion of the “real” Al Capone (1899–1947). Capone’s life has been well documented in countless books, articles, and ... Read full review

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Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
The Early Years
The Need to Make a Living
Al Comes to Chicago
The Other Capones
The Road to Power
The Fortunes of
In Hiding
Legal Woes
Atlantic City and After
In Prison
The Elusive Scarface Al
A New Day for Chicago
On the Road to Jail
Law Enforcement by Stigma
Jail Is a Bad Place Under Any Circumstances

The Glory Years
Inventing Al Capone
Who Wouldnt Be Worried?
I Guess Its All Over

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About the author (2016)

DEIRDRE BAIRáreceived the National Book Award for Samuel Beckett: A Biography. Her biographies of Simone de Beauvoir and Carl Jung were finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and the Simone de Beauvoir biography was chosen by The New York Times as a Best Book of the Year. Her biography of Ana´s Nin and her most recent book, Saul Steinberg: A Biography, were both New York Times Notable Books.

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