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Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago
Contributor(s): Collins, Max Allan (Author), Schwartz, A. Brad (Author)

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ISBN: 0062441957     ISBN-13: 9780062441959
Publisher: William Morrow & Company
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Binding Type: Paperback - See All Available Formats & Editions
Published: June 2019
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Annotation:

At last, the definitive history of Al Capone, Eliot Ness's Untouchables, and gangster-era Chicago – a landmark magnum opus on America's great crime epic that reads like a novel

"REVOLUTIONIZES OUR UNDERSTANDING OF AL CAPONE AND ELIOT NESS." — Matthew Pearl • "GRIPPING. READS LIKE A NOVEL." — Chicago magazine • "AN EXTRAORDINARY ACHIEVEMENT." — Sara Paretsky

In 1929, thirty-year-old gangster Al Capone ruled both Chicago's underworld and its corrupt government. To a public who scorned Prohibition, "Scarface" became a local hero and national celebrity. But after the brutal St. Valentine's Day Massacre transformed Capone into "Public Enemy Number One," the federal government found an unlikely new hero in a twenty-seven-year-old Prohibition agent named Eliot Ness. Chosen to head the legendary law enforcement team known as "The Untouchables," Ness set his sights on crippling Capone's criminal empire.

Today, no underworld figure is more iconic than Al Capone and no lawman as renowned as Eliot Ness. Yet in 2016 the Chicago Tribune wrote, "Al Capone still awaits the biographer who can fully untangle, and balance, the complexities of his life," while revisionist historians have continued to misrepresent Ness and his remarkable career.

Enter Max Allan Collins and A. Brad Schwartz, a unique and vibrant writing team combining the narrative skill of a master novelist with the scholarly rigor of a trained historian. Collins is the New York Times bestselling author of the gangster classic Road to Perdition. Schwartz is a rising-star historian whose work anticipated the fake-news phenomenon.

Scarface and the Untouchable draws upon decades of primary source research—including the personal papers of Ness and his associates, newly released federal files, and long-forgotten crime magazines containing interviews with the gangsters and G-men themselves. Collins and Schwartz have recaptured a bygone bullet-ridden era while uncovering the previously unrevealed truth behind Scarface's downfall. Together they have crafted the definitive work on Capone, Ness, and the battle for Chicago.


Additional Information
BISAC Categories:
- True Crime | Organized Crime
- Biography & Autobiography | Criminals & Outlaws
- History | United States - 20th Century
Physical Information: 1.5" H x 6" W x 9" (1.90 lbs) 752 pages
 
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s): Collins, Max Allan: -

Max Allan Collins is a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master. He is the author of the Shamus Award-winning Nathan Heller thrillers and the graphic novel Road to Perdition, basis of the Academy Award-winning film starring Tom Hanks. His innovative Quarry novels led to a 2016 Cinemax series. He has completed a dozen posthumous Mickey Spillane mysteries, and wrote the syndicated Dick Tracy series for more than fifteen years. His one-man show, Eliot Ness: An Untouchable Life, was an Edgar Award finalist. He lives in Iowa.

Schwartz, A. Brad: - A. Brad Schwartz is the author of Broadcast Hysteria: Orson Welles's War of the Worlds and the Art of Fake News, based in part on research from his senior thesis at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He cowrote a documentary about the War of the Worlds broadcast for the PBS series American Experience. He is currently a doctoral candidate in American history at Princeton University.

Reviewed by PW Annex Reviews (Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews)

Mystery writer Collins (The Bloody Spur) and historian Schwartz (Broadcast Hysteria) dutifully trace the lives of Al Capone (1899–1947) and his lawman nemesis, Eliot Ness (1903–1957), in Prohibition-era Chicago. Drawing on a trove of sources, including Ness's scrapbooks, the authors look at the parallel arcs of these men in the 1920s and 1930s as Capone gained notoriety and status as Chicago's greatest public enemy while Ness climbed the ranks of law enforcement to head a squad devoted to bringing Capone to justice. The general contours of this real-life drama are familiar, including the irony that Capone was eventually convicted of tax evasion, rather than the hundreds of murders he orchestrated; the authors add depth to their depiction of both men with colorful details such as the fact that, prior to becoming adversaries, Capone and Ness both lived on South Prairie Street for a period in 1923. Collins and Schwartz present a balanced view of the role of Ness in capturing Capone, which accounts such as Jonathan Eig's GetCapone (2010) and Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's documentary Prohibition (2011) have largely dismissed. The result is an informed and valuable addition to the numerous books about Capone and Ness. (Aug.)

Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly Annex.
 
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