Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 Audiobook | Bryan Burrough | Audible.com
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Public Enemies: America's Greatest Crime Wave and the Birth of the FBI, 1933-34 | [Bryan Burrough]

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

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

©2004 Bryan Burrough; (P)2004 Simon & Schuster Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The definitive account of the 1930s crime wave....[Burrough] successfully translates years of dogged research, which included thorough review of recently disclosed FBI files, into a graceful narrative....This book compellingly brings back to life people and times distorted in the popular imagination by hagiographic bureau memoirs and Hollywood." (Publishers Weekly)
"Fascinating..." (The New York Times)
"A colorful history of the mobile, heavily armed, self-glamorizing desperadoes called forth by the Depression and of the government's response, organized by the rigid, brilliant, incorruptible and ultimately creepy J. Edgar Hoover." (The New York Times Book Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (75 )
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  •  
    Craig Hansen Portland, OR USA 07-28-04
    Craig Hansen Portland, OR USA 07-28-04 Listener Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
    ratings
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    6
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    Overall
    "Need the unabridged version"

    A book like this is fascinating, but I learned my lesson with previous purchases: wait for the unabridged edition!

    31 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Memphis, TN, USA 08-26-09
    Sara Memphis, TN, USA 08-26-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    1
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    "Too Abridged"

    Great stories, but I have a feeling that the unabridged version offers more insight into Hoover and the personalities and politics behind the FBI. The abridged version is mostly the gangster tales - very exciting stuff but it lacks the insight that I am sure Burrough meant to communicate. See Michael Mann's movie if you want shootemup stories and wait for the unabridged version if you want the whole story!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-10-09
    Brian ANCHORAGE, AK, United States 08-10-09 Member Since 2005

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    195
    29
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    4
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    Overall
    "Good listen....!"

    The books goes into most of the gangsters from that era, not just Dillinger. I thought it would have detailed more of Dillinger's life, but it was interesting to hear about some of the other gangsters as well, but not what I thought or like the movie at all.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Stewart Denver, CO 01-29-10
    M. Stewart Denver, CO 01-29-10 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Must listen"

    This is just excellent. Exciting and insightful. Wonderful book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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