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Uncle Al Capone - The Untold Story From Inside His Family [Kindle Edition]

Deirdre Marie Capone
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $8.00 (44%)

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Book Description

The untold story from inside his family. Dramatic, unyielding, and provocative, Uncle Al Capone by Deirdre Marie Capone, Al Capone's grandniece, is a fascinating memoir and engaging biography. This moving, highly readable portrait of the Capone family and its mob trade examines what it has meant to survive the storied legacy of the family's forbearers. As Capone traces the arc of regret and what fuels the Capone myth, she finds redemption and a way to coexist with her legacy. In seventeen chapters with titles like "The Making of the Mafioso," "Trading the Chicago Outfit for the Chicago Cubs," and "The Saint Valentine's Day Truth," Capone outlines organized crime in Chicago and offers vignettes of American history during the early and mid-twentieth century. Using years of research and exhaustive interviews with her aunts, uncles, and cousins, she weaves an engaging anecdotal narrative of what it meant to be a Capone, what it meant to lose her father to suicide, and what it meant to have a mother who lived in constant fear. She offers compelling evidence that Al Capone was specifically targeted for prosecution by law enforcement agencies assisted by the media, which made gross exaggerations of her uncle's exploits and fueled a phenomenon of half-truths and utter falsehoods. From the family's roots in Angri, Italy to the author's ongoing investigations today, this debut offers a comprehensive and moving portrait of an iconic American family and one woman's efforts to make peace with the past.

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Gangster Al Capone once commented that “This American system of ours…gives each and every one of us a great opportunity if we only seize it with both hands and make the most of it.” Despite the fact that it’s coming from a known gangster, it says a great deal about the mind of the man. He sees himself as an average, successful American businessman, even if his comment understates the whole picture. It’s this human quality that Deirdre Marie Capone evokes in Uncle Al Capone, a fascinating book that’s one part biography, one part memoir, and one part remembrance of Public Enemy Number One. As the grand-niece of Al, Capone recounts how she hid her family name for years. When a school research project leads her to come clean to her kids, she begins recalling the rich family history she once knew. It’s a tale that starts after the family emigrates from Angri, Italy to Brooklyn, New York. Capone shows that Al and her grandfather, Ralph, weren’t always members of a crime syndicate. In fact, their childhood is fairly normal, with Al finishing high school, and Ralph working odd jobs to help support the family. Everything changes when their father dies and Prohibition becomes law. Forced to earn a living for his family, Al, and eventually Ralph, head to Chicago and down the path to criminal celebrity. Throughout the book, Capone tries to reconcile what she knows about her family with recorded history. Early in the book she writes, “I will not pretend to be able to paint a rosy picture of my uncle Al. I cannot make him out to be a perfect man, or even a good man. But what I want people to know is that he was a complex man. He was human and he had a heart.” Capone succeeds, balancing both the public history of Al, from the Valentine’s Day Massacre to his incarceration at Alcatraz, with personal photos, family recipes, and her own memories. The author recalls how loving certain members of the Capone family were, particularly her great-aunt Maffie who helps the author to see good in the men. It’s not always an easy task as the author recounts losing friends, jobs, and other opportunities, once people learned she was a descendant of the notorious Al Capone. Overall, Uncle Al Capone is a memoir that is as complex and human as the man that it’s about. It brings a fresh perspective to the other Al Capone biographies, and finally gives the larger-than-life gangster the one thing that may have eluded him in life: to be seen as simply a human being. Katerie Prior

Review

Uncle Al Capone is as complex and human as the man and finally gives the larger-than-life gangster the one thing that may have eluded him in life: to be seen as simply a human being. --ForeWord Clarion Review Four Stars (out of Five) by Katerie Prior

Product Details

  • File Size: 2177 KB
  • Print Length: 215 pages
  • Publisher: Recap Publishing LLC (January 1, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004BSGHDQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #221,706 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One "cool" story December 1, 2010
Format:Paperback
People write books for different reasons. Some write to entertain, some to memorialize and event or era, some to convince and some to self-promote. Ms. Capone writes because she has a burning need to share the flavor of her life with her uncle (who we know has the notorious Al Capone) and his family. At first it appears to be a hodgepodge of interpretations of historical events, personal experiences of the family, a cookbook. and a personal biography. It gradually molds into a cohesive theme and provides the reader with a totally different picture of the Capone family than what we might have imagined based on the Sopranos and the Corleones.
There are personal revelations that were undoubtedly very difficult and sometimes painful to express and Ms. Capone should be commended on the honesty and openness with which she tells her story.
Anyone interested in the era, Chicago history, the Wisconsin Northwoods, and gaining incite into a unique and truly American family should welcome this very different read (and also be rewarded with some scrumptious recipies). As her kids told her, her story is a "cool" one.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Read, Fresh Insight November 10, 2010
Format:Paperback
I had been looking forward to Deirdre Marie Capone's book for a long time and was elated when if finally came out. The book is written from her point of view, beginning from a little girl to adulthood. We learn about the Capone family history back in Angri, Italy to Brooklyn, Chicago and Florida. Her personal experiences of her interactions with her great uncle are told from the little girl's perspective. She shares multiple conversations she had with her grandfather, Ralph "Bottles" Capone, who provided her with some inside information into the workings of the Outfit. Some of the history is a bit different than what we have been taught, but this is the first insider's book out there, so even if some disagree with what she says, what she writes is at least worth taking a look at.

She includes a lot of never-before-seen photos and Capone family recipes. When I have a chance I may try a few of them out.

Finally, for those who are seeking another formal history of Al Capone or the Chicago Outfit, this isn't it. It's a personal story of someone who grew up Capone. She didn't benefit from the family wealth, but on more than one occasion suffered because of the family name. But those seeking history shouldn't be disappointed with the additional historical details she provides, mostly courtesy of her grandfather. All together Deirdre's book kept me interested and I found it enjoyable. It's got my recommendation.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh and fascinating look at the Capone family November 13, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like many others, I'd been waiting for Deirdre Marie Capone's book to be published and it was well worth the wait.

If you want a book that focuses solely on the public side of the Capones, look elsewhere. This unique book tells the story of multi-dimensional Capone family members as seen through the eyes of a child, and then a young woman. Nothing about the criminal side of the family is whitewashed. What is added are the images of an Italian immigrant family, happy in their home and devoted to each other. That's not to say there was no discord or that life was easy if your last name was Capone. In fact, it was a horrific burden to Deirdre's father, in particular.

The tone of the book is warmly inviting, as if the author is having a one-on-one talk about things that have happened in her sometimes surreal life. The small details such as Al Capone teaching Deirdre how to play the mandolin, her aunt's way of speaking through her teeth, the big names that talked about casual things...it all adds up to a very personal, honest, and fascinating portrait of a family who infamously became part of American history.

Highly recommended!
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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Read!!! November 22, 2010
Format:Paperback
The "Capone" name is legendary throughout the entire world. Power, money, murder, there are countless books telling the life history of "Al Capone" and the "Outfit". Deirdre Capone has managed to tell the inside story of the Capone family. The story of life at 7244 Prairie Avenue. From the eyes of a little girl, she takes us inside the home of the larger than life Al Capone. As "Uncle Al's" great niece, Deirdre tells of a life of love and laughter, sadness and tragedy. She lost her father at a young age to suicide due to the burden of carrying the Capone name. And she herself suffered from that same burden. I applaud her for having the courage to write this story and share it with the world. "Uncle Al Capone" is a refreshing change of pace and is a must for any Capone fans library. When you read it, you realize that her family, excluding the outside business, isn't too terribly different than yours or mine. They loved each other unconditionally, they protected each other, and endured. If you dwell on how the Capones succeeded, your missing the point of this book. It's about family, it's about the love they shared for each other. This book is a journey, take it!!!
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Different Side of the Famous Capones.... November 9, 2010
Format:Paperback
I have read many different things on the Chicago mob, and in particular, Al Capone. I must say, this is a nice breath of fresh air to see him, and his entire family, through a young girl's, and eventually a young woman's eyes. Who hasn't had a favorite aunt or uncle? You love seeing them on birthdays and holidays, and they seem to make everything fun. Well, it just happened that Dierdre's uncle was Uncle Al! I loved being introduced to the "home-life" side of him. She makes it very easy to see how different her family was inside the home on Prairie Avenue from the public view we're used to. The neat thing is, that different side of her family is just like the rest of us; not so different at all!

And while she doesn't make any apologies for Al and the "Outfit" and their activities; it does make you realize what it must have been like growing up and suffering only because you carried the name Capone. It was particularly sad the way her father's life ended so tragically young after just wanting to earn a legitimate living.

If you have heard all the stories, read all the books and seen all the movies, I think you, too, will enjoy seeing the other side of Al Capone and his family.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Shame on you, Deirdre
Pathetic and fabricated depiction of Deirdre's "wannabe " association with Al Capone. Some people will do anything for "15 minutes of fame". Read more
Published 1 month ago by Diane Pette
5.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the life of Al Capone
I really enjoyed the book and the look into the family life of Al Capone, It was very interesting getting a look into his family life and the good that he did do for the poor. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sunflower
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Reading Materail
Great book to read. Always wanted to know what happen to Al Capone last days. This book did not disapoint.
Published 4 months ago by JERRY POSEY
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for Al Capone enthusiasts!
I loved this book. As short as it is, it is a great read. The author is Al Capone's grand niece. It's so refreshing reading a book on Al that isn't only about his criminal life. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Brian
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time to read
I enjoyed the book very much. That being said I must say I don't know if it is a complete fiction or a true story. It is a very very different view of al Capone. Read more
Published 6 months ago by S. C. POLLOCK
5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Honest Writing
This is a remarkable little book. I have been reading about Prohibition and the beginnings of organized crime since reading Playboys History of Organized Crime in the early... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Bryan C. Woolman
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Deidre:

I just read your book. Ironically I read most of it on a business trip from Chicago to Miami. It was such a heart-felt tribute to your familiy. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Michael Iannelli
5.0 out of 5 stars GOOD LISTENING
It was interesting reading about what the capones contributed to society other than just being a thug. their were many al capones in the country at that time NOT JUST ONE.
Published 8 months ago by michael fiaschetti
3.0 out of 5 stars informative
life behind the mafia scenes, although the author is clearly tainted that these were nice people! they were ruthless and i doubt they would have done well in a legal world
Published 10 months ago by John Russo
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a lot that is new
The one thing that stood out is the author's view of who dunnit for the Valentine's Day Massacre. She claims Capone wasn't involved in it. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Mary Anne
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More About the Author

Deirdre Marie Capone is the grandniece Al Capone and the last living member of that family born with the last name "Capone." Growing up in Chicago as a member of the Capone family was uniquely difficult. And as soon as she could, she fled Chicago - and her name - and found her own success away from the shadow cast by the legacy of her famous uncle. Now, in her first book, she shares for the first time the intimate details of life within the Capone family.

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