Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34

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Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34

Author: Bryan Burrough
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright: 2004
Pages: 624
Cover Price: $ 18.00

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In Public Enemies, bestselling author Bryan Burrough strips away the thick layer of myths put out by J. Edgar Hoover’s FBI to tell the full story—for the first time—of the most spectacular crime wave in American history, the two-year battle between the young Hoover and the assortment of criminals who became national icons: John Dillinger, Machine Gun Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and the Barkers.

In an epic feat of storytelling and drawing on a remarkable amount of newly available material on all the major figures involved, Burrough reveals a web of interconnections within the vast American underworld and demonstrates how Hoover’s G-men overcame their early fumbles to secure the FBI’s rise to power.

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Background Information

J. Edgar Hoover was the first director of the FBI and remained in the post for the rest of his life, acquiring enormous and possibly corrupt power. The Federal Bureau of Investigation became famous during its campaigns against organized crime during Prohibition and the Great Depression.