This book is about the rise and fall of infamous gangster Al Capone. Al Capone, also known as scarface, was born in Brooklyn and was influenced and mentored by another gangster named Johnny Torrio. Later in life Capone worked under Johnny Torrio in Chicago and ran the biggest criminal organization in the city. At one point though, he got shot but recovered from the injury. He decided to give Capone his organization and retired early. Capone rose to power quickly and became suspected of crimes, like the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and people wanted him in jail. Unfortunately, there was no evidence that could connect Capone to any of the crimes, so instead he was jailed for tax evasion. Capone was released from jail at age 40 and lived the rest of his life in Palm Island, Florida, in peace. He would later die at age 48.
I wanted to know more about Al Capone and how he rose to power and this book did a good job at informing me about Al Capone. I am not much of a reader but I found this book to be quite an enjoyable read, although it might of been because of the topic, I found the book to be easy to follow and had a great telling of the infamous Scarface.
Capone was born in New York. He worked then until he moved to Chicago to bootleg. Capone was Torrio’s partner for bootlegging in Chicago. Their headquarters in Chicago was at a place called four deuces. Torrio transferred the headquarters from Chicago to the Hawthorne inn in a large city outside Chicago called Cicero. After Al’s Father died in New York, he moved his family to Chicago to live with him, his wife, and son. By 1924 Capone was making about $1.5 million in today’s money each year. The business became more violent as the business grew. Capone was ruthless when it came to business. One occasion was when one man named Joe Howard stole from Capone and humiliated one of his coworkers. Capone and one of his men went up to him in the saloon, shot him, and killed him. In 1924 the boss of a bootlegging business in the north side of Chicago was shot and killed; Capone was suspected. Two months later, his car was shot at by a car driving by. Capone lived. Capone’s boss, Torrio, retired after getting shot and left Capone in charge. During the Great Depression Capone opened up one of the biggest soup kitchens in Chicago. In 1925 the police found a complete financial record of Capone and Torrio’s work. William McSwiggin, an assistant state’s attorney was put on the case, but Judge Howard was the judge for the case. Capone paid off him and he ordered the documents to be returned, and Capone was set free. After Capone took charge, two brothers called the O’Donnell brothers decided to start bootlegging. The two brothers were then killed along with McSwiggin. After they died Capone was tried in front of a judge. But the prosecutors had no evidence so the judge dismissed the case. Capone had many assassination attempts during the next few year. Capone tried to called meetings with the big gangsters of Chicago, but not much was done. President Hoover was determined to take down Capone and made it one of the FBI top priorities. On St. Valentines, 1929, 7 men from the north side gang were lined up by fake police inside of a warehouse and shoot dead. The city knew it was Capone, but the book shows new evidence that it might not have been Capone. After the massacre, Capone was to testify in court on the convention of bootlegging. After recovering from an illness he was sentenced to prison but was released only 8 days later. In 1930 he traveled to Miami, Florida near his Palm Island estate he had purchased in 1926. He was arrested there for being homeless. In 1931 Capone was finally sentenced to prison and was put in Atlanta, Georgia. While there he suffered from a sickness thought to be from his birth. When Alcatraz was opened in 1933 Capone was moved there. He was released in 1939 and retired to his estate in Florida. In 1947 Capone died from a stroke and then pneumonia at age 48. He was then buried in Chicago on a cold day by his friends and family.
Get Capone is a short, 370 page, biography written about the life of Capone and focuses on his career and presents new information on the plot the took down Capone. The book shows every aspect of Capone’s life and career in the short book that it is. Eig uses the newly released Government documents to try and explain who Capone really was. Eig’s biography is well written and captivating;