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Public Enemies

Public Enemies

The astonishing true story of America's first and greatest "War on Crime."
In Public Enemies, Bryan Burrough strips away a thick layer of myths put out by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI to tell the full story of the most spectacular crime wave in American history, the two-year battle between the young Hoover and an 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 1933, police jurisdictions ended at state lines, the FBI was in its infancy, and fast cars and machine guns were easily available. It was a great time to be a bank robber. On hand were a motley crew of criminal masterminds, sociopaths, romantics, and cretins.
Bryan Burrough has unearthed an extraordinary amount of new material on all the major figures involved -- revealing many fascinating interconnections in the vast underworld ecosystem that stretched from Texas up to Minnesota.
But the real-life connections were insignificant next to the sense of connectedness J. Edgar Hoover worked to create in the mind of the American public-using the "Great Crime Wave" to gain the position of untouchable power he would occupy for almost half a century.
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  • Simon & Schuster Audio | 
  • ISBN 9780743539913 | 
  • July 2004
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About the Author

Bryan Burrough
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Bryan Burrough

Bryan Burrough is a special correspondent at Vanity Fair, and the author of three books, Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco (With John Helyar), Dragonfly: An Epic Adventure of Survival in Outer Space, and Vendetta: American Express and the Smearing of Edmond Safra. A former reporter for The Wall Street Journal, he is a three-time winner of the John Hancock Award for excellence in financial journalism. He lives in Summit, New Jersey with his wife Marla and their two sons.

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