This classic history of crime tells how Chicago?s underworld earned-and kept-its reputation. Recounting the lives of such notorious denizens as the original Mickey Finn, the mass murderer H. H. Holmes, and the three Car Barn Bandits, Asbury reveals life as it was lived in the criminal districts of the Levee, Hell?s Half-Acre, the Bad Lands, Little Cheyenne, Custom House Place, and the Black Hole. His description of Chicago?s infamous red light district-where the brothels boasted opulence unheard of before or since-vividly captures the wicked splendor that was Chicago. The Gangs of Chicago spans from the time "Slab Town" was settled to Prohibition days. The story of Chicago?s golden age of crime climaxes with a dramatic account of the careers of the "biggest of the Big Shots"- Big Jim Colosimo, Terrible Johnny Torrio, and the elusive Al Capone. Photographs and illustrations round out this telling of Chicago's early underworld.
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.