Capone : The Man and the Era

4.01 (388 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Al Capone is an American legend, "Scarface, " the mythic arch criminal and role model for scores of lesser crime bosses, right down to our own day. Now, in this fascinating, brilliantly readable, revisionist new biography, he also emerges as one of the most complex, influential, and perhaps misunderstood figures of the brawling, glamorous era that shaped and defined modern America. Laurence Bergreen's Capone is a far cry from the vulgar, mindless "Scarface" of countless movies. Without diminishing any of the violent glamour that made Capone a larger-than-life figure in his lifetime, Bergreen has meticulously stripped away the legend to show us the real man - more interesting and in many ways more sympathetic. The most notorious gangster ever, in a nation that worshiped famous criminals and still lived on the edge of frontier violence, Capone recalled a pinnacle of celebrity that made him at once a folk hero and the embodiment of evil and corruption. There is no doubt that Capone was the real thing - a cold, vicious killer; a thief; a pimp; a racketeer - ignoring the law and disdainful of its enforcers. At the same time he was a complex man who loved the limelight and managed to seize the public's attention with his flamboyance, his daring, his erratic moods, and the flagrant way he thumbed his nose at authority, as well as a devoted son, a loving father, a loyal (if unfaithful) husband, often generous to those in need, a defender of the downtrodden - and an unlikely hero to many in a generation of Americans who felt disenfranchised by a society they saw as corrupt and moribund. Bergreen brings to life this colorful, contradictory man, tracing Capone's background from his earliest days as a poor kid in a tough, dangerous Brooklyn neighborhood, through his early attempts to earn a legitimate living, on to his surrender to the call to join his former neighborhood pals in their game of rackets, theft, and murder. Capone's move to Chicago was followed by an almost meshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 157.48 x 241.3 x 48.26mm | 793.78g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0684824477
  • 9780684824475
  • 992,858

Review quote

Richard Gid Powers The Washington Post Book World Laurence Bergreen's beautifully crafted biography of Capone transcends the true-crime genre to become a masterful study of a major figure in American history....This is a great story with all the more

About Laurence Bergreen

Laurence Bergreen is the author of two previous biographies, "James Agee" and "As Thousands Cheer: The Life of Irving Berlin." He lives in New York more

Rating details

388 ratings
4.01 out of 5 stars
5 34% (130)
4 39% (153)
3 23% (91)
2 3% (10)
1 1% (4)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X