Get Capone Book Reviewadmin / February 1, 2019
Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America’s Most Wanted Gangster is a first edition book by Jonathan Eig and published by Simon & Schuster on 27th April 2010.
Given the way the book goes beyond mere myths in seeking to bring out new facts and evidences concerning the rise and fall of criminal activity in the United States of America, it is an incredible informative piece of literary writing that has received much claim in the US judicial corridors. It is centered on the criminal activities of Al Capon who was a notorious American criminal.
Eig’s main theme in the book is dissecting the ways of the shrewd criminal (Al Capone) whose endeavours appeared to continually outwit and make a mockery of the federal law, slip through hands of justice unscathed and creating torment and trouble for his target victims.
In so doing, Eig delves deep into the mystery of Capone’s ways and attempts to surmise what made such a known criminal to elude the hands of justice for such a long time in the US criminal justice system.
Eig has used a wide range of sources to support his case and postulates in the story most of which have helped bring some level of authenticity and a touch of professionalism to the book. These sources are both primary and secondary given their nature.
The primary sources include unpublished bibliographies of Al Capone, archived documents (such as Johnson’s personal letters), handwritten documents from different government law enforcement agencies (such as the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation), personal documents (like those written and signed by Edgar Hoover and notes written by the author who worked on Capone’s autobiography) and Capone’s library letters about his release from prison among others.
Secondary sources include family members’ and relatives’ interviews, newspaper accounts and recorded information obtained from interrogation of persons that were associated with Capon and Johnson.
These sources are appropriate in their own rights since they help bring a sense of research and investigation about the criminal activity of Al Capone and his capture therefore helping to depict the book as a compilation of well researched and investigated case. They have been considered in other quarters as having informed the understanding of the Capone case.
There is justifiable criticism on how the author has used these references in the book calling to doubt the surmises and conclusions that he draws from them.
A quick perusal through the book gives the impression that these sources have been used as they were being merely copy-pasted into the book without investigative consideration of the circumstances surrounding the information given especially given that the case was a high profile case that was prone to a lot of prejudices, half-truths and exaggerations.
The book simply revamps experts from previous Capone’s biographies whereas inasmuch FBI massacre letters are used as corroboration for the surmises made, key evidential photos to support the claims (like photos from the baseball massacre at Chomsky Park ) are not provided.
In addition, these sources are just used in their raw nature in that there is very little analysis that is carried on them and this has created multiple instances of facts surmised that are completely unjustifiable.
For instance, Eig surmises that Eliot Ness was the person responsible for the downfall of Capone and yet it is in public domain that this was merely Hollywood concocted story that lacked any professional and investigation coherence and yet the author takes it as truth.
Another instance of this incoherent presupposition that has no systematic police evidence is the massacre theory that Eig postulates where he relies on the archived letters that claimed that Jack White was the one who killed the seven men with whom Capone was.
The author is prejudicial in the sense that he assumes that Weiss’ and Drucci’s $ 13 000 roll was what compelled Capone to initiate their attack on the front of the Standard Oil Building.
Considering the author’s intention of removing untruths of the story in circulation concerning Capone’s case, it can be observed that he frantically tries to input evidences and perceptions to the story so as to give it a totally different view from what really happened. In this regard therefore, I personally do not find the book as compelling and authentic as it is intended to be.
The overt premeditation that informs what the author wants to create even before gathering information that is relevant and the lack of analysis of the data collected and objective consideration of the facts that are gathered makes the book inappropriate if it is to be used for this course.
For persons reading about the case for the first time may find the book appropriate but for the ones with prior knowledge of the same and who are interested in scholarly approach of the story, the book falls way below their expectations in appropriateness.