Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness, and the Battle for Chicago

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The battle between Al Capone and Eliot Ness served as a backdrop for the pros and cons of Prohibition. The amount of literature about the two men has been highlighted by myths and falsehoods. Al Capone rose through the ranks of the criminal underworld, forming alliances with Johnny Torrio, Frankie Yale, and Frank Nitti in New York. Capone’s reputation would be solidified in Chicago after the assassination of Jim Colosimo in 1920. The opportunities provided by bootlegging were too good to pass up. While Capone battled rivals for the liquor racket, Eliot Ness would be influenced by his brother-in-law Alexander Jamie, who would assist in Ness becoming a Prohibition agent. Ness had stood up to bullies as a youth, and he viewed the gangsters as no different. Ness and his fellow agents would raid houses in Chicago and surrounding areas, making dents in the Capone organization. Capone would cement his iron grip on Chicago, eliminating many enemies. As Capone’s power grew, his brazenness would insult the propriety of honest government officials and those of means. Ness and Capone were on a collision course that could only end in defeat for one.

Scarface and the Untouchable is a page-turning history that overwhelms the past retellings of the pre-eminent battle against organized crime. An excellent book that is history, biography, and true crime.

Chris Hayden been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.


Reviewed By:

Author Max Allan Collins • A. Brad Schwartz
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 704 pages
Publisher William Morrow
Publish Date 2018-Aug-14
ISBN 9780062441942
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category History
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