Eig’s written a book that not only gives one a pretty good feel for Capone himself, but also paints a helpful picture of the political landscape in the US through the ’20s and into the ’30s. Further, in reading this book, I think I got a helpful understanding of this history of the city of Chicago. Eig writes well; the book moves along at a good clip and draws the read into Capone’s complicated and sordid story. The author doesn’t focus on the obscene, but leave the details off stage where they should be. When it comes to the violence, however, some of the descriptions are fairly detailed and gory. Being a gangster in Chicago in the Roaring 20s was a gory business.
Capone’s a figure that is, at once, both repulsive and strangely attractive. He’s repulsive for obvious reasons: he was (just for starters) a pimp, a murderer, and *pause for dramatic effect* an income tax evader. He an attractive figure because he had a schmoozy and magnetic personality, he loved his family (especially his son), and he’s the figurehead standing against the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution (which, by the way, in case you haven’t heard, was a very BAD idea). Capone was larger than life in his own day, and it seems like he still is today. He’s a captivating figure and a worthy subject for Eig’s well-written and interesting book.