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Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic Cityby Nelson Johnson
Synopses & Reviews
The true story that inspired the HBO series!
Through most of the 20th century, Atlantic City was controlled by a powerful partnership of local politicians and racketeers. Funded by payoffs from gambling rooms, bars, and brothels, this corrupt alliance reached full bloom during the reign of Enoch "Nucky" Johnson — the second of three bosses to head the Republican machine that dominated city politics and society.
In Boardwalk Empire, Nucky Johnson, Louis "the Commodore" Kuehnle, Frank "Hap" Farley, and Atlantic City itself spring to life in all their garish splendor. Author Nelson Johnson traces "AC" from its birth as a quiet seaside health resort, through the notorious backroom politics and power struggles, to the city's rebirth as an international entertainment and gambling mecca where anything goes.
Boardwalk Empire is the true story that inspired the epic HBO series starring Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, and Kelly Macdonald, with a pilot episode written by Terence Winter (The Sopranos) and directed by Martin Scorsese (Shutter Island).
"Read Boardwalk Empire....Johnson spares no detail when painting a picture of the illegal activities that flourished in Atlantic City." Egg Harbor News (New Jersey)
Providing the inspiration and source material for the upcoming HBO series produced by Academy Award-winning director Martin Scorsese and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter Terence Winter, this riveting and wide-reaching history explores the sordid past of Atlantic City — forever a freewheeling town long-dedicated to the fast buck — from the city's heyday as a Prohibition-era mecca of lawlessness to its rebirth as a legitimate casino resort in the modern era. A colorful cast of powerful characters, led by "Commodore" Kuehnle and "Nucky" Johnson, populates this stranger-than-fiction account of corrupt politics and the toxic power structure that grew out of guile, finesse, and extortion. Atlantic City's shadowy past — through its rise, fall, and rebirth — is given new light in this revealing, and often appalling, study of legislative abuse and organized crime.
New to the HBO Series Tie-in Edition:
In Battleground New Jersey, historian and Boardwalk Empire author Nelson Johnson chronicles reforms to the system through the stories of Arthur T. Vanderbiltandmdash;the first chief justice of the stateandrsquo;s modern-era Supreme Courtandmdash;and Frank Hagueandmdash;former mayor of Jersey City. Although Vanderbilt and Hague clashed on matters of public policy and over the need to reform New Jerseyandrsquo;s antiquated and corrupt court system, they were two of the most powerful politicians in twentieth-century America.
New Jerseyandrsquo;s legal system was plagued with injustices from the time the system was established through the mid-twentieth century. In Battleground New Jersey, historian and author of Boardwalk Empire, Nelson Johnson chronicles reforms to the system through the dramatic stories of Arthur T. Vanderbiltandmdash;the first chief justice of the stateandrsquo;s modern-era Supreme Courtandmdash;and Frank Hagueandmdash;legendary mayor of Jersey City. Two of the most powerful politicians in twentieth-century America, Vanderbilt and Hague clashed on matters of public policy and over the need to reform New Jerseyandrsquo;s antiquated and corrupt court system. Their battles made headlines and eventually led to legal reform, transforming New Jerseyandrsquo;s court system into one of the most highly regarded in America.
Vanderbiltandrsquo;s power came through mastering the law, serving as dean of New York University Law School, preaching court reform as president of the American Bar Association, and organizing suburban voters before other politicians recognized their importance. Hague, a remarkably successful sixth-grade dropout, amassed his power by exploiting peopleandrsquo;s foibles, crushing his rivals, accumulating a fortune through extortion, subverting the law, and taking care of business in his own backyard. They were different ethnically, culturally, and temperamentally, but they shared the goals of power.
Relying upon previously unexamined personal files of Vanderbilt, Johnsonandrsquo;s engaging chronicle reveals the hatred the lawyer had for the mayor and the lengths Vanderbilt went to in an effort to destroy Hague. Battleground New Jersey illustrates the difficulty in adapting government to a changing world, and the vital role of independent courts in American society.and#160;
Readers of Erik Larson will loveand#160;this tale of sex, greed, and the American dream:and#160;A huckster imports a tribe of Filipinos to Coney Islandand#8217;s Luna Park, and two cultures collide.
The Lost Tribe of Coney Islandand#160;unearths the forgotten story of the Igorrotes, a group of and#8220;headhunting, dog-eating savagesand#8221; from the Philippines, who were transported to New York in 1905 to appear as and#8220;human exhibitsand#8221; alongside the freaks and curiosities at Coney Islandand#8217;s Luna Park. Millions of fair-goers delighted in their tribal dances and rituals, near-nudity, tattoos, and stories of headhunting.
Journalist Claire Prentice, who has spent years researching the topic, brings the story to life with her fluid prose and vivid descriptions. The book boasts a colorful cast of characters, including the disgraced lieutenant turned huckster Truman K. Hunt; his Filipino interpreter, Julio Balinag; the theme park impresarios behind Luna Park, Fred Thompson and Elmer and#8220;Skipand#8221; Dundy; and Dogmena, a beautiful girl who became a favorite with New Yorkand#8217;s social elite.and#160;The Lost Tribe ofand#160;Coney Island and#160;is a fascinating social history and a tale of adventure, culture-clash, and the American dream.
About the Author
Nelson Johnson practiced law for 30 years, during which time he was active in Atlantic City and Atlantic County politics. He is currently a judge of the New Jersey Superior Court, sitting in the Civil Division of Atlantic County. He lives in Hammonton, New Jersey.
Terence Winter is an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter for his work on The Sopranos. Along with Martin Scorsese, he is currently an executive producer for the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Cast of Characters
1.and#160;From One Island to Another
3.and#160;The Journey from the Tropics
4.and#160;The Money Men
5.and#160;Welcome to America
6.and#160;Making an Entrance
7.and#160;Meeting Uncle Sam
9.and#160;Tribal Life in the City
10.and#160;Headhunting the Star Attraction
12.and#160;Another Unwelcome Visitor
13.and#160;The End of the American Dream
15.and#160;Fighting for Control
16.and#160;A Break for Freedom
17.and#160;Dear Dr. Hunt
18.and#160;A Rival Enters the Fray
20.and#160;Raising the Alarm
21.and#160;A Worthy Opponent
22.and#160;Dr. Hunt, I Presume
23.and#160;On the Run
24.and#160;Luck Be a Lady
28.and#160;In the Care of the Government
29.and#160;A Gentleman Criminal
30.and#160;Trials and Tribulations
31.and#160;A Surprise Reversal
32.and#160;The End of the Line
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