Boardwalk Empire

Boardwalk Empire

The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City

Book - 2009
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From its inception, Atlantic City has always been a town dedicated to the fast buck, and this wide-reaching history offers a riveting account of its past 100 years--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 characters, led by Enoch "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.

Publisher: Medford, N.J. : Medford Press/Plexus Pub., 2009
Edition: 1st general trade ed
ISBN: 9780966674859
Branch Call Number: History 974.9 Joh


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Aug 11, 2015

I was a big fan of the HBO show, which wrapped up recently after 5 seasons. Like "Deadwood," it was based on real people and real events, but it also took liberties. Nelson Johnson's history of Atlantic City, which begins with is creation out of a strip of beach land and then traces it thorough its heyday during prohibition to its decline and then the arrival of one D. Trump in the 80s. There are actually only a few chapters about Nucky Johnson, the character played by Steve Buscemi in the show (as Nucky Thompson), who is described as being "tall, trim, and broad-shouldered." Johnson is a lawyer and not a professional writer and even though "Boardwalk Empire" is well researched, the writing is rather clunky, although I enjoyed his chapter on Trump, whose ego he describes as "the biggest since the Pharaohs." If you've seen the show, you'll like learning a little more about the real people who inspired the characters, but otherwise, it's a bit dull. Forward by show creator Terrence Winter.


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