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Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wante

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  638 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
The real story of how the federal government finally apprehended and convicted America’s most notorious criminal, Al Capone.

Drawing on 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 infamous criminal
ebook, 480 pages
Published April 27th 2010 by Simon & Schuster (first published January 1st 2010)
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John Hood
Jun 13, 2010 John Hood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author reveals the flaws in Al Capone's legend
The Miami Herald June 6, 2010

Special to The Miami Herald

As Jon Stewart said when he had Jonathan Eig on The Daily Show, the author's new book, Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster, should be subtitled Everything You Thought You Knew About Capone Is Wrong. Eig, who previously covered the lives of Lou Gehrig (Luckiest Man) and Jackie Robinson (Opening Day), ``thought it would be fun to
Audiobook: By age 28, Capone was virtually “King” of Chicago. He had orchestrated the reelection of Big Bill Thompson, a lunatic so weird that he would debate animals in cages, in 1927. Thompson is considered the most unethical Mayor in Chicago history and was the last Republican to win election to that office. He ran on a platform of shutting down police raids on the ordinary citizen and had full support of the criminal element. “When I’m elected we will not only reopen places these people have ...more
Jan 12, 2015 Trekscribbler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For those who don’t know it, I grew up in a part of Illinois that’s relatively close – just a bit downstate – from Chicago. (No, I won’t mention it by name.) Now, I’ve never been able to verify this story, but rumor has it that some of the men who used to work for Al Capone made a visit to my humble little town. It was very late in Roaring Twenties, and allegedly the men were looking to muscle in on some of the gambling dens that had taken hold in that part of the county. When the local stiffs p ...more
Paul Pessolano
Feb 05, 2011 Paul Pessolano rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 1920's were a unique time in American History. It was the time of Probibition, Jazz, Speakeasies, the Great Depresson, and the birth of tha American Gangster.

"Get Capone" is more than a biography of Al Capone, it is a story of the times. Jonathan Eig tells the story of a nation and a city (Chicago) caught up in a turbulant time brought about by the passage of Prohibition.

Jonathan Eig tells how Al Capone was able to rise rapidly through the ranks of organized crime, in fact, he became organiz
Jill Hutchinson
Most people know the story of Al Capone.....or maybe they don't. So many myths have sprung up around him that it is hard to know who he really was. The author has tried to paint a picture of the man and the times in Chicago when men were gunned down in the street, elected officials were as crooked as those who bribed them, and booze was as easy to purchase as a loaf of bread.....Prohibition be damned was the general attitude of many.
This book has been researched well and the events leading up to
George Huner
May 25, 2010 George Huner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyed this book, I like reading about the time period of the 30's. I found from the book jacket that I had read Jonathan Eig's other books (about Lou Gehrig and Jackie Robinson). Some good info on the effects of prohibition, Hoover as president, and descriptions of life in Chicago during that time period. When I was reading about Eddie O' Hare, one of Capones gambling partners, I was waiting to find out that the airport in Chicago had been named after him. Glad to read later it was his son But ...more
Sean Wicks
Jul 13, 2014 Sean Wicks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched, detailed and entertaining chronicle of Al Capone's rise to be the king of the Chicago underworld. Starting with his days partnered with Johnny Torio (part of HBO's BOARDWALK EMPIRE's storyline)it covers everything from the problems created by prohibition - well for the government as it created a criminal element that gripped the streets of Chicago - to the tax-evasion case against Capone spearheaded by Georg E.Q. Johnson that eventually brought him down, to his final days in pri ...more
I started this book with an open mind and the only goal was to learn more about Al Capone. I was pleasantly surprised at all the information I didn't know. Based on myth, and what I found out was surprisingly more complex about the man that is so infamous. For instance, I didn't know he had syphilis or that it would end up leading to his death or at least being the major contributor while he was in prison. his family life more so than his crime lab I found to be the most interesting. Like I didn ...more
Jo Stafford
Jul 02, 2016 Jo Stafford rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fast-paced walk on the wild side of 1920s Chicago is utterly compelling. Bootleggers, drive-by shootings, corruption in City Hall and the police force, and elegantly-attired gangsters are vividly brought to life in these pages in writing which crackles with the immediacy of today's headlines.

Al Capone repeatedly asserted that he was merely a businessman who gave the people what they wanted: booze, gambling, and girls. To describe his tactics as heavy-handed is an understatement, but there'
Tom Schulte
Nov 18, 2015 Tom Schulte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more than the story of bringing down Capone, but a full biography of his professional life from panderer to syphilis-tormented Miami Beach resident. New scholarship sheds light on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre (looks like at least in part a cop-involved vendetta for the slaying of a cop's son) and more. Ness and The Untouchables get taken down a few notches as being largely ineffective and unimportant. Philadelphia for actually imprisoning Capone and U. S. Attorney George E. Q. Johnso ...more
Jun 01, 2010 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Popular culture has done an injustice to George Johnson and Frank Wilson, the men who had more to do with arresting Al Capone than Eliot Ness ever did. This is a great book for Chicago-lovers, especially when you realize how many Windy City streets and sites you've frequented that were once tainted by Tommy Guns!
Dean Jobb
Mar 18, 2015 Dean Jobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable book -- fast paced, thoroughly researched and thoroughly enjoyable. If you think you know the story of Al Capone and the gang violence that plagued 1920s Chicago, think again. Eig delivers the truth in this definitive biography of America's most notorious crime boss.
Herb Hastings
May 28, 2010 Herb Hastings rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 28, 2015 Louis rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting enough work of popular history provided you don't look too closely at its facts. What I found most troubling about this book was the way Eig kept trying to draw in elements that did not necessarily belong. For instance, this book exaggerates the involvement President Herbert Hoover has in getting Al Capone behind bars. Eig also works too hard to convince the reader the hero of this piece is U.S. Attorney George E.Q. Johnson. He also seems to have it in for Eliot Ness although he never d ...more
Sep 27, 2011 Tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eig's written a book that not only gives one a pretty good feel for Capone himself, but also paints a helpful picture of the political landscape in the US through the '20s and into the '30s. Further, in reading this book, I think I got a helpful understanding of this history of the city of Chicago. Eig writes well; the book moves along at a good clip and draws the read into Capone's complicated and sordid story. The author doesn't focus on the obscene, but leave the details off stage where they ...more
I wonder what book some reviewers have been reading. This book edges up the very precipice of being an apology for Alphonse Capone. Some of the new and exciting sources are at best questionable if not out and out as misleading as much of the whole Outfit story often becomes to the new aficionado of Chicago Crime.

The author, Jonathan Eig, has suddenly discovered court documents that shed a slightly different light on Capone, or has he? As some of the 'records' come from academic archives taken fr
Christian Petrie
May 26, 2013 Christian Petrie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
When it comes to history, I am always interested in learning something new about the past. This could be an expansion upon a footnote in history, or giving us a new perspective. Get Capone falls into this category.

Compared to other events in history, his could be regarded as more recent, yet this book presents additional information to change your view on Capone. Instead of being the rich and powerful gangster movies lead us to believe, instead we see how he had influence, but in realty was livi
Jun 12, 2010 Tony rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eig, Jonathan. GET CAPONE: The Secret Plot That Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster. (2010). ****. This is an interesting enough review of the life and times of Al(phonso) Capone, born in Brooklyn and bred in the streets of Chicago under the tutelage of Johnny Torrio. He managed to come of age at the right time, when Prohibition came into effect, and there was big money to be made for members of the underworld who could supply the goods that were in demand. Although the author has based his ...more
Sep 08, 2013 Walt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: organized-crime
Having read many other biographies of Al Capone, this is something of a refreshing deviation from the norm. It is true that Eig makes some arguments and statements supporting some suspect theories; but he took a widely different approach to the topic.

It seems like most Capone books all resemble each other. Kobler, Schoenberg, Bergreen, Allsop, and others read a script of who did what to whom. The point is mostly to cover as much blood-letting as possible. Schoenberg and Bergreen did expand a lit
Jul 27, 2012 Bonnie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed reading this book much more than I thought I would and never would have picked it up but I'm taking a writing class at Chautauqua this coming week and the teacher is Jonathan Eig. I was curious of course to sample some of his writing so got cracking on this book.

Expertly written, it kept my interest as I am interested in this time period. Both my parents were born in 1906, so as I was reading the first half of this book which was set in 1920 to 1930, I'm thinking about my parents who w
Aug 07, 2014 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of this books is new to me, since I have actually read very little about Capone. That made things like the author's constant references to the flaws of past autobiographies a little annoying and unnecessary, since I was not aware of the problems in the first place. On the other hand this book did offer things such as a plausible explanation for the Valentine's Day Massacre, something that I had heard a lot about. It was in explanations like this, clearly well researched, that this book int ...more
Nov 24, 2010 Harold rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Over the years I've read two - possibly three - other bios of Al Capone. All were interesting but for the most part portrayed him as an omniscient overlord running Chicago and all that went on in it, ruthlessly eliminating all competition. That's a nice neat way of looking at things and having an answer for every question and someone to blame for every crime. Ultimately it leads me to wonder where the reality leaves off and the mythology begins. Eig doesn't take this approach and the result is a ...more
Anthony V.
Aug 30, 2014 Anthony V. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great book outlining the birth of organized crime in America. This showed the early days before The Commission where violence and death was brought upon the mobs own society. The only way that the Federal Government could connect Capone with a crime was through the violation of tax evasion. He was sent to prison for just a few years but when he was released, his empire was gone and he was in poor health, dying in FL.
Meg M
Dec 17, 2011 Meg M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chicago
A book that starts off fast and fascinating, with an added bonus for Chicago residents who might find themselves saying to themselves things like, "I go right by there on my way to work!"

The second part of the book gets a little more mundane as its bogged down with the less flashy aspects of the people involved with Capone's downfall. Eig does a great job of giving mini bios of the main players and explaining how laws worked during Capone's era. The problem is, the real story is often less neat
Bookmarks Magazine
Certainly enough has been written about Capone to make new books on the gangster and the hunt for him seem extraneous, but Eig takes a fresh approach to his subject by relying on new interviews and IRS files on Capone's 1931 prosecution. Critics praised Eig's solid reporting and ability to draw a rich, historical context and tease out Capone's complexity. "He's wiped away the garbage and given us a man," noted the Chicago Sun-Times, "[s]omeone monstrous, in short, but recognizably human." A few ...more
Jan 18, 2013 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gangsters are not my favorite characters to read about. I bought this book because I took a writing class, bringing your characters to lif, at Chautauqua in the sumer of 2012. Jonathan know this subject well. I actually enjoyed reading about Al and his early life, his marriage, his homes, his jail cell where he conducted so much of his business. The clothes that Al fancied, the diamond belt buckles...that he bought by the bagfull to give to his business associaet at Chistmas.

I have to confess th
Aug 31, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well crafted biography that plays out against a detailed portrait of American society in the years between world wars. Cutting through myth and hype, the author presents Capone as a very flawed human, a man who deeply loved his family but in a twisted manner.
In general I found this to be a most fascinating read.
Rob Deters
Feb 05, 2014 Rob Deters rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: History / Crime / Legal Thriller Fans
A pretty decent and evocative account of how Capone was actually brought down. As a criminal defense lawyer in Chicago I appreciated its fairly accurate recounting of the legal history to his case. A lot of good insight and colorful anecdotes. A great read.
William Armstrong
There was just something about this book that I didn't like...hard to pin down exactly, but perhaps the best way to explain is that the author was trying too hard to be entertaining. I listened to this book, and the reader doing voices for different people, making machine gun noises, etc., probably didn't help.

Somehow a book about Al Capone, gangsters, corruption, murders, moon shiners, and all that, was both boring and irritating.
Barry Hammond
A fascinating historical read, based on the papers of George E.Q. Johnson, the U.S. Attorney who prosecuted Capone for tax evasion. It reveals the details of the campaign to bring down the elusive gangster, who was noted for his evasiveness, starting at the top with President Hoover, down to the men and women who put together the nuts and bolts of the case against him. It cuts through all the mythology built around both Capone and figures like Eliot Ness to try to tell the actual story of what h ...more
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Jonathan Eig is a former reporter for the Wall Street Journal and a New York Times best-selling author who has written four books: "Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig;" "Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season;" "Get Capone;" and "The Birth of the Pill."
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