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A Knight of Another Sort: Prohibition Days and Charlie Birger, Second Edition (Shawnee Classics) Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 10, 1998


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, December 10, 1998
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Product Details

  • Series: Shawnee Classics
  • Hardcover: 376 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press; 2nd edition (December 10, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0809322161
  • ASIN: B005Q78W20
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,871,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"[A Knight of Another Sort] has the authenticity that comes from expert scholarship; the reading pleasure that comes from a fine writing talent; and the insights and understanding that come from Gary's having grown up in 'Charlie Birger country.' For the first time, the veil of dusty legend that has so long obscured the real personality has been cleared away, and DeNeal has revealed the complex and tragic lineaments of one of southern Illinois' most fascinating heroes."—Henry Dan Piper, coauthor of Land Between the Rivers



"DeNeal's research and recording, into one book, of all of the data on Charlie Birger and his contemporary cutthroats is a masterpiece not only in criminal history, but it is interestingly woven into a period of Illinois history that attracts 'old-timers' like me."—Harold Hartley, author of Way Down in Egyptland

About the Author

Gary DeNeal is the publisher and editor of Springhouse magazine. He is a lifelong resident of southern Illinois.


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Customer Reviews

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How a man can be so good and so bad at the same time is a mystery.
Timothy D. Kelley
A well-written and researched work that brings to life the Prohibition era.
Rick "Mad Dog" Mattix
This book was a lot of fun and Mr. DeNeal did his research quite well.
Movie Buff

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Rick "Mad Dog" Mattix on December 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I picked up the original edition of this book years ago. It seemed then to be the definitive biography of Charlie Birger but Gary DeNeal has seen fit to update it and expand it with new info. This is one of the best gangster biographies I've ever seen and the rural background adds to the fascination. The Birger-Shelton gang war, complete with machine guns, armored trucks, and aerial bombing, equalled the violence and color of Capone's Chicago. A well-written and researched work that brings to life the Prohibition era.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "beechum" on June 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If Paul Angle's BLOODY WILLIAMSON got your attention, you might consider DeNeal's portrait of Birger and his violent life as a natural companion piece. His exhaustive examination of the gangster's persona and the spectacle of his death is well-written and enjoyable. For those not so interested in the particulars of Birger's life, this study offers a solid snapshot of southern Illinois culture during the years just before the Depression. Ballowe's smart, albeit brief, introduction is also nicely done.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Movie Buff on October 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book originally while doing family research in Southern Illinois. My family had for years heard stories of my grandfather and Charlie Birger. I wanted to see if any dates/events coincided and to my surprise and relief there were not very many. During the reading of the book, however, I found myself being drawn in and even beginning to become enchanted by Charlie Birger. Don't get me wrong - he was a very dangerous and troubled person - but the writing by Gary DeNeal really drew me in. The history lessons as well as the interesting look at the world of a small time (even though Birger thought he was big-time) gangster was quite interesting. One of the most interesting facets was his association with other local gangsters and the historical look at how East St. Louis, now suffering from urban decay, was once a thriving and beautiful city. This book was a lot of fun and Mr. DeNeal did his research quite well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Travis J Smith on October 29, 2002
Format: Paperback
Growing up in southern Illinois, the stomping grounds of Charlie Birger, I always heard the stories of gangsters. For anyone who has lived in southern Illinois, it is hard to imagine gangsters, bootlegging, etc. going on in this rural part of the state. Being curious about what was fact and what was fiction regarding Birger, I found this book.
It is a really good read, covering all aspects of Birger, as well as some background information on southern Illinois and the Prohibition period there. It is especially interesting to read about areas you know really well, and soak in the history that took place there. I would recommend this book to anyone from the southern Illinois area.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was fascinated by stories of this man as a child. well, moreso of his wife, a moll named beatrice (as I recall).

either way, it was fun getting the low down on this guy. How a man can be so good and so bad at the same time is a mystery.

the book is unremarkable in its professional review of this man's life, but easily readable. Enjoy it.
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By Orville R. Bevel, Jr. on December 29, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having grown up in the sea it was interesting to see the story in writing. Fortunately public hangings are not done anymore or perhaps they should.
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