This classic history of crime tells how the Chicago underworld earned - and kept - its notorious reputation, from the time it was settled to the Prohibition days of the 1920s. Recounting the lives of such infamous early inhabitants as the original Mickey Finn and the mass murderer H.H. Holmes, it climaxes with the city's golden age of crime and a dramatic account of the careers of the biggest of the Big Shots - Big Jim Colosimo, Terrible Johnny Torrio, and the elusive Al Capone, revealing life as it was lived in the criminal districts and the infamous red light district where the brothels boasted opulence unheard of before or since. ounded off with fascinating photographs and illustrations, this is one of the most detailed, reliable and readable accounts of the nether side of Chicago's first century.
Herbert Asbury was born into a strictly Methodist family in Missouri in 1889. His pious background and his subsequent rejection of Methodism greatly influenced both his philosophy of life and his career as reporter and author. Indeed, many of his books deal with the darker, seamier side of American life. He died in 1963 of chronic lung problems, the legacy of a gas-attack in France during the first World War.