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Short Synopsis
Author John J. Binder, a recognized authority on the history of organized crime in Chicago, discusses all the important bootlegging gangs in the city and the suburbs and also examines the other major rackets, such as prostitution, gambling, labor and business racketeering, and narcotics.

Full Synopsis
Although much has been written about Al Capone, there has not been—until now—a complete history of organized crime in Chicago during Prohibition. This exhaustively researched book covers the entire period from 1920 to 1933. Author John J. Binder, a recognized authority on the history of organized crime in Chicago, discusses all the important bootlegging gangs in the city and the suburbs and also examines the other major rackets, such as prostitution, gambling, labor and business racketeering, and narcotics.

A major focus is how the Capone gang—one of twelve major bootlegging mobs in Chicago at the start of Prohibition—gained a virtual monopoly over organized crime in northern Illinois and beyond. Binder also describes the fight by federal and local authorities, as well as citizens' groups, against organized crime. In the process, he refutes numerous myths and misconceptions related to the Capone gang, other criminal groups, the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and gangland killings.

What emerges is a big picture of how Chicago's underworld evolved during this period. This broad perspective goes well beyond Capone and specific acts of violence and brings to light what was happening elsewhere in Chicagoland and after Capone went to jail.

“This is a truly comprehensive history of crime in Chicago during Prohibition that will appeal to true-crime readerships and that will make an excellent addition to library collections for its coverage of an era." ---Foreword Reviews

“Prohibition was one of the most flamboyant periods of American history, and Binder brings it to vivid life through meticulous research, sound insights, and solid arguments." ---Deirdre Bair, author of Al Capone: His Life, Legacy, and Legend

"A compelling read and, I think, a work of art. . . . All the astonishing bits of information that Binder has gathered over years of exhaustive research create a vivid picture of a unique time in Chicago’s colorful history that is nothing less than remarkable. Bravo!” ---Diane Capone, granddaughter of Al Capone

“At last, for the first time, we have a fully noted, comprehensive, clear and concise examination of the genesis of organized crime in Chicago and the entire Prohibition gang war era." ---Mars Eghigian Jr., author of After Capone: The Life and World of Chicago Mob Boss Frank “the Enforcer” Nitti

Al Capone's Beer Wars

A Complete History of Organized Crime in Chicago during Prohibition

Author John J. Binder

Narrated by David Colacci

Publication date Nov 21, 2017

Running time 11 hrs 9 min

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