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Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times and the Corruption of Atlantic City [Kindle Edition]

Nelson Johnson
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.99
Kindle Price: £4.68 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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MP3 CD £11.45  
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Book Description

Through most of the 20th century, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 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 the 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 splendour. Author Nelson Johnson traces 'AC' from its birth as a quiet seaside health resort, through the corruption, 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.

'As good, if not better, than the television series' Independent

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Product Description


"As good, if not better, than the television series" (Independent)

"The book is full of compelling anecdotes and characters ... Nucky Johnson's description of Atlantic City is equally applicable to Nelson Johnson's book: "We have whiskey, wine, women, song, and slot machines. I won't deny it and I won't apologise for it"" (Telegraph)

"Enthralling ... Johnson deftly straddles centuries while using nearly 20 years of research and an energetic, novelist style to bring to life the mobsters, bootleggers and bent politicians behind Atlantic City's rise and fall" (Shortlist)

"Fascinating" (Daily Express)

"Stranger, and scarier, than any fiction" (Independent)

Book Description

The original book that inspired Boardwalk Empire, the award-winning, prohibition-era HBO series from Martin Scorsese and the producers of The Sopranos

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1616 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (3 Feb. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004LB59Y6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,365 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The facinating real-life story of Atlantic City 27 Mar. 2011
I've been enjoying the Boardwalk Empire TV series that has been shown on Sky Atlantic and I picked up this book in order to find out a little more about the real-life events that inspired the hit show. I'm glad I did. This is a great little potted history of the sleeze, crime and corruption for which Atlantic City is famous. The TV show is pretty much inspired by a couple of chapters of this book but the TV people have taken quite a bit of artistic license with the characters including changing names and roles. The fluent writing style of this book keeps you turning the pages and I raced through this book which is anything but a dry history of organised crime. People looking for a novelisation of the hit show may be a little disappointed but as in many cases, the truth is actually more interesting than fiction.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read 4 Mar. 2011
By DBR2309
Really interesting book, i watched the complete series on Sky and then searched for more information on the characters involved. Found this book to be a real insight into that era.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating history told so well 27 May 2015
Format:Kindle Edition
4.5 stars

Audio book

I started listening to this because I adored the TV series Boardwalk Empire, which was taken from this book - not the other way round, oh people who reviewed it saying it has a lot of boring history in it...!

It tells of the rise of Atlantic City from a tiny fishing village in nowheresville, South Jersey, into a resort for the entertainment of the working man. The idea was the brainchild of one Dr Joseph Pitney, whose original idea was to turn it into a health resort - but the first thing he had to do was negotiate with the railroad companies, so that visitors could actually reach this isolated outpost. By the end of the 19th century, the basis was in place for the Atlantic City empire of treasurer Nucky Johnson, on whom Steve Buscemi's Nucky Thompson is based.

The pre-Nucky section of the book is probably about a third of it, and I liked this part the best. If you're interested in Americal sociological history you will find this book as fascinating as I did, though if you're expecting lots of dramatic gangster type stuff in the Prohibition era you will be disappointed - people like Al Capone are scarcely mentioned, and Arnold Rothstein not at all, I don't think; much of the story in the televison series is fictional.

Narrated by actor Joe Mantegna, of 101 gangster films fame ~ the perfect choice.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 2 Jun. 2011
By Blondie
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I bought this for my mum on a recommendation from a colleague and she raved about this book! She loved the TV series but is also a great fan of social and political history which this book apparently has in spades.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intereting history 16 Jan. 2014
By Ro
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great companion book for the TV series. There are no spoilers so go ahead and read it. It's the factual account of Nuky Thompson and several others in the early 1900s as they played with politics and gangs in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It's a good read, but gets a but dry at times. There are photographs, too.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the TV series 26 Dec. 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Anybody expecting this excellent regional history to be like the TV series will be disappointed. Probably only 2 pages out of the book were an inspiration for the series. Nevertheless it is detailed account of the rise, fall and rise of Atlantic City and well worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars W O W ! 4 Sept. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
WOW.......Superior read start to finish.........When you've seen the t.v. series and are able to put a face to the characters, it makes for a great read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the series. 4 Mar. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My understanding of the series is it was based on fact and here is the fact. Extremely interesting. Enough to send me online to read more. To get an understanding of the times and places. Nucky was real. Though not as portrayed as the charactor in the series. Some names and dates have been changed to protect the innocen. Ha...the innocent were few and far between. It gives an excellent insight as to how the Mob were able to use corruption to further their "business".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
More political than the average boardwalk fan would anticipate, but truly an in depth insight.
Published 2 months ago by Joshua James
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good but got a bit boring in the middle
Published 2 months ago by Luigi
1.0 out of 5 stars Garbage.. throw in into the sea
Garbage ..throw in into the sea ..........
Published 3 months ago by Neil Franklin
3.0 out of 5 stars Having watched the series and enjoying it I was disappointed with the...
Having watched the series and enjoying it I was disappointed with the book. The series focuses mainly on Nucky Thompson who is based on the real-life Enoch Johnson. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Magoo63
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
enjoyable read
Published 5 months ago by James Wareham
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
It's an Xmas gift but if the series is any thing to go by it will be excellent
Published 6 months ago by ddland
3.0 out of 5 stars Society and corruption
Good account of how crime and racketeering can thrive within society if communities feel they are benefiting with scant regard to moral principles. Read more
Published 17 months ago by Llanddwyn
3.0 out of 5 stars Nothing like the TV series!
The cover is very misleading. If you are a fan of the show - don't expect the book to be anything like it.
Published 19 months ago by Steve of Rochester
3.0 out of 5 stars Boardwalk to short
I wasn't sure what to expect. I have watched everything that has been on the TV and can't wait for it to return. Read more
Published 21 months ago by angel gabriel
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