Friday, July 15, 2011

Review: Eminent Gangsters by James Fentress

Eminent Gangsters: Immigrants and the Birth of Organized Crime in America"This American system of ours," observed Al Capone, "call it Americanism, call it capitalism, call it what you like, gives to each and every one of us a great opportunity if we can only seize it with both hands and make the most of it."  Capone spoke as a member of a generation who, seizing the opportunities offered by the Eighteenth Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibited the manufacture, transport, or sale of alcoholic beverages, enriched himself and laid the basis for modern organized crime in America.  Yet if the story of the eminent gangsters is not the orthodox, rags-to-riches American success story, neither can it be dismissed as merely a crime story, a morality play where evil doers are brought to justice by the forces of law and order.  Their story, rather, is a central and significant chapter in the social and economic history of modern America.

Received from the publisher for review.

This one gets two stars.  Any possible enjoyment potential this book promised was severely hindered by the minuscule text packed on each page like sardines.  While the book was informative enough I was unable to read much of it because of the tiny, even vaguely smudgy, text.  The author clearly had a passion for the topic and the book is well researched, but the printer did such a poor job as to make this as unbearable as reading an onionskin dictionary.  Pick this up as an e-book or be prepared to break out your magnifying glass.

☆☆= Just Okay


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