Al Capone: A Biography

Al Capone: A Biography

Al Capone: A Biography

Al Capone: A Biography

Synopsis

"The son of poor Italian immigrants struggling for a better life in early 20th-century New York, Capone chose a life of crime as a means of advancing his place in the world. His success brought him fabulous wealth and fame. His criminal deeds made him many enemies among law enforcement officers, politicians, and fellow criminals. Yet ultimately, Capone's downfall was his own misdeeds. Following a lengthy prison term, he died at age 48 from complications of syphilis. In his short life, Capone had become America's most feared criminal, and after his death, his legend cast an even greater shadow. For more than 70 years, Al Capone has been equated with wealth, violence, and corruption. As America's most infamous criminal, he has intrigued, attracted, and repulsed the general public with his legendary criminal deeds. This concise biography separates the myth from the man. Beginning with a historical look at corruption in American society - along with a clarification of the terms Black Hand, Mafia, and Organized Crime - Capone is presented in his own time and place. A timeline summarizes the events of his life and career. A thorough bibliography of print and electronic sources will assist students and general readers seeking to perform further research, making it perfect for anyone interested in Capone's life, organized crime, the prohibition era, and the struggle of lower-class Americans to rise in society." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

There has been much written about Al Capone. Indeed, one might wonder what could possibly be said about one of America’s most identifiable criminals that has not already been documented. Most of the major writings have been done by journalists and others interested in crime. What seemed to be lacking was a perspective which included Italian American history and Organized Crime. This book seeks to remedy that situation.

Ethnicity, diversity, and organized crime are words bandied about freely in today’s society. Minority groups are treated with a respect few thought possible or worth pursuing at the beginning of the twentieth century. The actions of minority groups, especially those from southern and eastern Europe, were prejudged to their detriment. This book gives the reader an opportunity to see Capone in a different light. It does not necessarily portray him in a better way, but certainly in a broader perspective. In an age which has come to view former radicals/criminals as benefactors for their group and society at large, readers can decide for themselves where Capone really fits in American society.

The author wishes to express his gratitude to many who helped make this book possible. Over the long haul, he has benefited from friends and colleagues too numerous to mention and from the many students who attended his courses in Immigration History and the History of Organized Crime. Their interest required this writer to stay current in his studies which often required fresh research. A number of individuals offered helpful advice on various themes in this book, read all or parts of the manuscript, and offered technical assistance in the use of the computer to get manuscripts ready for publication. Among them are Dr. Joel Swerdlow, a . . .

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