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Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City Paperback – August 16, 2010
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"Read Boardwalk Empire. . . . Johnson spares no detail when painting a picture of the illegal activities that flourished in Atlantic City." Egg Harbor News (New Jersey)
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Top Customer Reviews
Johnson relates both the positive and negative traits and contributions made to Atlantic City by Louis "The Commodore" Kuehnle, Enoch "Nucky" Johnson, and Frank "Hap" Farley. Besides the three bosses, the author also describes others who were influential in the city's storied history. I was also impressed with Johnson's narrative concerning the two referendum votes it took in order to bring casino gambling to Atlantic City.
Even the afterword chapter bares reading because the author shares person insights into where he sees the city going based on its recent as well as distant past. He spent two decades working on putting Boardwalk Empire together. It shows.
Anyone who has ever been here, or has relatives who were here years ago, or would like to know the complete story about a unique place in our American Lanscape should read this book!
I have mentioned this book to a variety of people who thought it was merely the book version of the HBO series. When I explain the series is but a few chapters of the book they seem genuinely interested.
I am dveloping a long list of recipients for holiday gifts.
OK, I liked the book. I think that's what you were actually asking.
I enjoy the history of cities.
I enjoy black history.
I enjoy RR history
This book has all 4.
More than just a precurser to the HBO series, it covers Atlantic City from it's birth to death and rebirth. Why it became a magnet for freed slaves and gangsters alike as well as vacationers is covered. Once I began to read, it was hard to put down. If only I could go back in time and experience all the corruption and vice firsthand!
That being said, i loved everything from Pittney's health resort all the way through to the reign of Hap Farley the most.
I can't exactly recommend this to fans of Boardwalk empire expecting something in that vein, there are only two chapters about Nucky and alot of it is not as spicy as the HBO series.
One thing that became apparent to me near the end is hat Nelson Johnson managed to interview some people that were present there in those early times (mary Ill etc) these fresh quotes from interviews really make the first half of the book very strong, which makes it all the more disappointing when you reach the last quarter of the book.
That said, Nucky continued to be a character involved in AC after he was out of office and power (supplanted by Frank Farley).
Very interesting and adds more depth to the main characters of the series, many of whom were real people.