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Uncle Al Capone - The Untold Story from Inside His Family Paperback – October 27, 2010

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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

"A lot of people think Al Capone was a psychopath. A lot of people think Robert De
Niro captured the true nature of America's most notorious gangster. A lot of people are fools. Deirdre Marie Capone is not one of them.
Do yourself a favor: read it. When you're done, you can judge Al Capone for yourself."
Jonathan Eig, author of: Get Capone

"Congratulations! I loved the book. The other writers who have written about your
uncle know very little about him compared to you and your family members, but their
stuff is based on court papers, old police records and news clippings."
--Nick Pileggi, author of Wiseguys  adapted into the movie Goodfellas, and the book/screenplay Casino.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

"Under The Same Sky"
See this and more inspirational memoirs.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Recaplodge LLC (October 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982845103
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982845103
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #542,793 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.
Deirdre has just revised her book in April 2015 adding more never before revealed information about her uncle Al Capone. She is presently working on a major motion picture which will be released in 2016.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Malcolm Preston on 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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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Rick Warner on 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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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By karlabry on 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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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mombatoo on 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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20 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Tim Schenzel on 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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