Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius” as Want to Read:
The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  13 reviews
On the 100th anniversary of The Volstead Act comes the epic, definitive story of the man who cracked the Prohibition system, became one of the world's richest criminal masterminds, and helped inspire The Great Gatsby.

Love, murder, political intrigue, mountains of cash, and rivers of bourbon . . . The tale of George Remus is a grand spectacle and a lens into the dark heart
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Diversion Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bourbon King, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Bourbon King

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.75  · 
Rating details
 ·  36 ratings  ·  13 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

George Remus was a drug store owner, lawyer, and bootlegger during Prohibition. He was finally put away for his crimes after literally thousands of violations and foolishly gave his flighty and theatrical wife power of attorney, which she then used to confiscate his millions and take on another lover while he was in jail. Infuriated, Remus swore revenge, and when he was freed from prison, he tracked her down and shot her in the stomach.

Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read a NetGalley early release copy of the book. I am a history buff with a special interest in the early 20th Century. I am familiar with the history of Chicago during Prohibition but knew little of the activities in the South.

I found the Bourbon King to be well written and engaging. By the time I completed the book, I felt that I knew the main characters and had a better understanding of the period.

This is not a book that is a quick read, however, the attention to detail, the storytelling,
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was a goodreads First-Reads winner and I appreciate the opportunity to review this book.

100 years after the passage of the Volstead Act, Batchelor wrote an engaging book of the life of George Remus. What fascinated me first about this book is that I lived a short time in Hamilton, Ohio and was a regular in Cincinnati, so I knew many of the places listed within.

Remus was a brilliant psychopath, as many of our titans of business are. Batchelor covers Remus's life in full, clearly showing how
Vicki (kybookgirl)
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Bob Batchelor, Netgalley and Diversion publishing for this advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

The story of ambition, greed, daring, love, loss..The American Dream. Still don’t know if he was really a broken person, a real psychopath or just so cunning.

A few questions I have now. How did he see WWII as a German American? What cigars did he smoke?

Really enjoyed the read. A must read for Bourbon, prohibition, or local history enthusiasts. The tale of this man can’t be topped
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was an interesting read. My father told me a lot about the Prohibition Era but only mentioned George Remus infrequently. So I liked getting more information on this figure of the era.
Mercedes Rochelle
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The cover blurb for this book about the notorious George Remus was tantalizing, and I think it would have made a fabulous historical novel. As a straight biography, however, I kept thinking of Dragnet: “just the facts, ma’am. Only the facts.” Mind you, I watched Dragnet religiously when I was a teenager, so that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But I found the book pretty dry—and I kept missing the potential drama promised by the back cover. However, with that being said, the book was obviously ...more
Whew, what a long story this was about Prohibition and a bootlegger named George Remus. George Remus was born in Germany and came with his family to the United States as a child. Since his father was an unsuccessful breadwinner, he went to work as a teenager in his uncle’s pharmacy. By his early 20s, he not only had a pharmacist license, but bought his uncle’s pharmacy, plus another one. It all wasn’t challenging enough for Mr. Remus, however, so he decided to become a lawyer. A lawyer he did ...more
Sep 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: history
George Remus must have been an absolutely fascinating person to know. He was extremely intelligent, driven, and versatile. However, he was also insecure and absolutely dependent on the admiration of others. His positive qualities enabled him to succeed as a pharmacist, lawyer, and bootlegger. His negative qualities led to his abject failure.

Remus great desire for fame and wealth led him to develop one of the biggest and most efficient bootlegging organizations during Prohibition. He approached
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
I apologize for a late review as I have been traveling out of the country.

I had heard about this story from my mother who was reminded about it when she read the NY Times review. My family is from Cincinnati and many still live there. After reading the NY Times review, I thought it would be fun to read a little of the Queen City's history plus I love a good Bourbon.

Batchelor has done great research on the inter-workings of the bootlegging "industry" as well as painting larger than life
Ashley Reyes
Sep 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy for review from Netgalley.

This was an interesting, deep read about one of the biggest personalities in prohibition. The story was deep, well researched, and engaging. This is one you will want to re read, because there’s a lot to unpack in this- but that’s what’s great about this. Sometimes you can read once and be done, but this is still good on the next read as you see the intricacies as they come and know what to pay attention to the next time through.
Aug 07, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, giveaways, own

I won this book via Goodreads Giveaways
Mackenzie Lee
Dec 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
Good history. Poor writing.
Jo Ann
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was ok
Facts and timelines, but interesting
Christopher Brochon
rated it it was amazing
Oct 14, 2019
Bob Russell
rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2019
Carol Best
rated it it was ok
Nov 14, 2019
Blaze Dalton
rated it liked it
Oct 08, 2019
Melissa Cheresnick
rated it really liked it
Nov 02, 2019
Diversion Books
rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2019
rated it really liked it
Oct 12, 2019
rated it really liked it
Nov 10, 2019
Jack Schultz
rated it really liked it
Nov 19, 2019
Tam Wallace
rated it liked it
Oct 30, 2019
Robert McParland
rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2019
rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2019
Aaron Prieskorn
rated it liked it
Nov 15, 2019
rated it really liked it
Sep 20, 2019
rated it it was ok
Dec 01, 2019
rated it it was amazing
Aug 28, 2019
Mick Howey
rated it really liked it
Oct 29, 2019
« previous 1 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Bourbon King available on NetGalley 1 2 Jul 09, 2019 11:39AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Diamond Doris: The True Story of the World's Most Notorious Jewel Thief
  • The Confession Club (Mason, #3)
  • Can You Ever Forgive Me?: Memoirs of a Literary Forger
  • The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4)
  • The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper
  • This Earl of Mine (Bow Street Bachelors, #1)
  • The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America
  • The Blacksmith Queen (The Scarred Earth Saga, #1)
  • The Berlin Mission: The American Who Resisted Nazi Germany from Within
  • Trove: A Woman's Search for Truth and Buried Treasure
  • The Man That Got Away (Constable Twitten #2)
  • Jerry the Squirrel: Volume One
  • King of the Bootleggers: A Biography of George Remus
  • Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief
  • The Shape of Night
  • Angels & Patriots: Book Two
  • The Japanese Experience: A Short History of Japan
  • Pavilion of Women
See similar books…
Bob Batchelor is a historian and biographer, specializing in topics focused on American history and culture. His forthcoming book is The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius (Diversion Books, September 10, 2019)

The Bourbon King tells the spectacular story of George Remus, who cracked the Prohibition system, turned it on its ear, became one of the world's