Sorry, folks. My Monday must-read this week is being posted on Tuesday. Couldn’t really be avoided.
My must-read this week is Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough.
This work of non-fiction traces the steps of several of the most famous (or infamous) gangsters of the first real gangster era. The list includes John Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde, the Barker gang and others.
The book was later borrowed for a movie starring Johnny Depp.
I was particularly fascinated by this book in the wake of the movie’s release. Dillinger committed several robberies in the area where I grew up, so that was a draw for me also.
These gangsters, despite their criminal activity, gained a level of fame and glamor that set the bar for criminals in the future. I think this era, and the dawn of the news reel which ‘promoted’ the criminals, really whetted America’s taste for true crime news to the point that it has grown to today.
If Dillinger, Bonnie and Clyde etc. hadn’t been glamorized, would we want to know so much about these crimes and criminals like we are today?
It’s definitely something to ponder while you read this book.