Al Capone: Chicago's King of CrimeAl Capone: Chicago’s King of Crime by Nate Hendley
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

At first, this brief book read a bit like the biographical reports my students wrote in composition classes. But it picked up speed, and I was soon hooked on finding out the details it contained about Capone’s life, from its humble beginnings to its ignominious end. It’s not eloquent or masterfully constructed, but for someone who wants to learn more about the famous mobster, it offers a broad overview and some interesting details. I would definitely read more of Hendley’s condensed biographies.


“Capone remained in a cold fury during Frank’s funeral, which was held on April 5, 1924. With admirable restraint, he refrained from attacking the cops observing the funeral, some of whom had pulled their triggers on Frank Capone.

“The funeral itself was the epitome of gangster gaudiness — a mass display of grief bracketed by countless floral arrangements, all of which were provided by Dion O’Banion, of course. The Capone family decided to hold a wake at their home on Prairie Avenue. Thousands of people — friends, family, enemies, political allies, and the just plain curious — filed into the house to mourn and view Frank Capone lying peacefully in a silver coffin. Teresa Capone was devastated. She wept and mourned the too-early loss of her handsome young son. Capone consoled himself in a more direct manner. Shortly after Frank Capone’s death, he got into a heated argument with his political lackey, Joseph Klenha, on the steps of Cicero’s Town Hall. As if to underscore who was really in charge, Capone pushed Klenha off his feet. Once the politician went down, Capone began kicking him. Uniformed policemen stood by and watched but did not interfere. While Klenha was technically their boss, these officers were smart enough to know who the real power in town was.”


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