Al Capone and the 1933 World's Fair: The End of the Gangster Era in Chicago


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
5.9 X 8.9 X 0.9 inches | 0.95 pounds

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About the Author

William Elliott Hazelgrove has a Masters in History and is the best-selling author of ten novels and two works of nonfiction, including Forging a President: How the Wild West Created Teddy Roosevelt (2017) and Madam President: The Secret Presidency of Edith Wilson (2016). His books have hit the National Bestseller List, received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist, Book of the Month Selections, Literary Guild Selections, History Book Club Bestsellers, Junior Library Guild Selections, and ALA Editor's Choice Awards. He was the Ernest Hemingway Writer-in- Residence where he wrote in the attic of Ernest Hemingway's birthplace. He has written articles and reviews for USA Today and other publications. He has been the subject of interviews in NPR's All Things Considered along with features in The New York Times, LA Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun Times, RichmondTimes Dispatch, USA Today, People, NBC, WBEZ, WGN, and American History TV CSPAN. He also runs a political cultural blog, The View from Hemingway's Attic. http: //


Love it. He keeps supplying my bookshelf with things that I love. William Hazelgrove is prolific and he becomes, with each book, a better writer. Al Capone and the 1933 World's Fair is a fascinating and fabulous book that tells the story of a sadly relatively unknown but successful World's Fair. This was obviously an enjoyable project for Hazelgrove; he brings it to life.
Hazelgrove. . . makes a compelling argument that "scapegoating" Capone for the fiscal ills of both Chicago and the United States (following the Great Depression) was nothing more than a distraction from the greater economic calamities that had undermined American capitalism. . . . Hazelgrove, intentionally I suspect, provides a thoughtful comparison between the xenophobia of yesterday with what is consuming American society today. Citing the president's name several times, it is quite apparent that Hazelgrove recognizes history's recurring theme: no matter how the names may change, the game remains the same -- namely, blame outsiders for what are clearly systemic flaws in our system of justice.

In the years leading up to 1933, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, two rich Chicago kids, murdered another boy for fun; the U.S. was mired in the Great Depression; Charles Lindbergh's baby was kidnapped and murdered; Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany; and Al Capone, who had used Prohibition as a way to expand his criminal empire, was the de facto mayor of Chicago, even though he was, technically, a prison inmate. Amid all this turmoil, the Chicago political powers that be thought it would be a great idea to throw a World's Fair. But how do you fund a $20 million extravaganza when the city is broke? How do you keep the gangsters from running rampant? The fair's planner promised the people of the city that gangsters 'will be gone' by the time of the fair, but how could he possibly follow through? Enter the Secret Six, a group of businessmen who joined forces for a most dangerous mission: to eradicate organized crime in Chicago by the time the fair opened. This is a thrilling and frequently surprising story about larger-than-life people and their larger-than-life ambitions.
This book is intense and exciting and brings to life a piece of history that's thrilling and fascinating.
[Hazelgrove] argues that Chicago had to break the hold of organized crime in order to stage the 1933 World's Fair. Hazelgrove supports his argument by revealing how a group of Chicago businessmen, dubbed the 'Secret Six, ' worked to end the gangster era . . . this is a slim but satisfying study, one that general readers will find enlightening and scholars of the presidency and humor will find most valuable.
A great thrill ride through Al Capone's Chicago, filled with sizzling action and unforgettable characters.