The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster
By Jonathan Eig
(Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781416580591, 480pp.)
Publication Date: April 27, 2010
Drawing on thousands of pages of recently discovered government documents, wiretap transcripts, and Al Capone’s handwritten personal letters, New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Eig tells the dramatic story of the rise and fall of the nation’s most notorious criminal in rich new detail.
From the moment he arrived in Chicago in 1920, Capone found himself in a world of limitless opportunity. He was an impetuous, affable young man of average intelligence, ill prepared for fame and fortune, whose most notable characteristic was his scarred left cheek. Yet within a few years, Capone controlled an illegal bootlegging business with annual revenue rivaling that of some of the nation’s largest corporations. Along the way he corrupted the Chicago police force and local courts while becoming one of the world’s first international celebrities.
A furious President Herbert Hoover insisted that Capone be brought to justice because the criminal was making a mockery of federal law. Legend credits Eliot Ness and his “Untouchables” with apprehending Capone. But it was the U.S. attorney in Chicago and little-known agents working on direct orders from the White House who compromised their ethics—and risked their lives—to get their man.
The most infamous crime attributed to Capone was the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, a crime that Capone insisted he didn’t commit. Using newly discovered FBI records, Eig offers a surprising explanation for the murders.
Get Capone explores every aspect of the man called “Scarface,” paying particular attention to the myths that have for so long surrounded and obscured him. Capone emerges as a worldly, emotionally complex man, doomed as much by his ego as by his vicious criminality. This is the real Al Capone.
Jonathan Eig is a former writer and editor for the Chicago bureau of The Wall Street Journal and the former executive editor of Chicago magazine. He is the author of two highly acclaimed bestsellers, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig and Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. Luckiest Man won the Casey Award for best baseball book of 2005, and Opening Day was selected as one of the best books of 2007 by the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Sports Illustrated. Mr. Eig lives in Chicago, half a mile from the site of the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, with his family.
Jonathan Eig's book Get Capone reveals new insights about the famous Chicago gangster â?? including how freely he spoke to reporters, the time he shot himself in the groin, and how venereal disease eventually robbed him of his health and sanity. More at NPR.org
Jonathan Eig's new book Get Capone reveals new insights about the famous Chicago gangster -- including how freely he spoke to reporters, the time he shot himself in the groin, and how venereal disease eventually robbed him of his health and sanity. More at NPR.org
Jonathan Eig's Get Capone follows the 1931 effort to take down the quintessential American criminal â?? and obvious killer â?? on nothing more than a tax charge. More at NPR.org
“Riveting. . . . Eig's book is full of fascinating details about the Windy City, as well as the rest of America in the 1920s.”
—Elizabeth Bennett, Dallas Morning News