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Secret Life, Secret Death: Going Down in Flames in Bootlegging & Prostitution in Capone's Chicago & Wisconsin Paperback – 30 Mar 2013

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4.1 out of 5 stars 10 reviews from Amazon.com

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Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars 10 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 18 Jan. 2015
By Susie - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very interesting! Kept my attention. Learned alot about the gangsters I didn't know!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your money. This book isn't as good as it looks. 29 Aug. 2014
By Lori - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an atrocious book. It had so, so much potential, but instead, you're left with an awful, rambiling, overlong book. To make matters worse, this was the most unprofessionally printed book I have ever seen. Random typeface changes, punctuation mistakes, copy-editing errors that a grade school student could catch, and repetitive or confusing story-telling. I quit reading after the first few pages, disgusted with the book and all of its mistakes. I can't believe the author thanks her editor. For doing ... nothing?
4.0 out of 5 stars There is an accompanying film which I liked watching after reading the book 11 Oct. 2014
By Elizabeth M. Timmins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As many of you know, I am a transplant from Chicago and my sisters and dad still reside there. Since I have chosen to make Wisconsin my home, the interactions between Chicago and Wisconsin have always intrigued me.
The latest Chicago-Wisconsin connection is in the book Secret Life, Secret Death by Genevieve Davis. Genevieve’s grandmother, Minnie, was caught in the web of the mafia and prostitution in Chicago.
She also opened a brothel in Spread Eagle, Wisconsin. Genevieve researched her grandmother’s life and ties for ten years. As a result, her book is well documented and well constructed. I could not put the book down. One chapter that really interested me was about what swimming suits women were allowed to wear to Chicago beaches!
There is so much history in here that was both new to me and astounding. Chicago politics and the crooked politicians that worked within them blew my mind. Also, how unkind the Italian "patrones" were to their fellow countrymen.
So it is not only the incredible facts that Genevieve unearths but her adventures as she is unearthing them are remarkable, too. Finding just the right people to help her with her research is a huge part of the narrative. She studies the psychology of her father from VA records. He was the son of Minnie and the question becomes, "which was worse--him being with his mom or him being separated from his mom?"
Genevieve has as a hobby participating in historical reenactments. She has a way of thinking about how it must have FELT to be impoverished, abused, and in a society which devalued women. Fascinating stuff. The interspersed photos are real and haunting.
*I did force myself to overlook spelling and grammatical errors to get to the content.
There is an accompanying film which I liked watching after reading the book. However, some people find it too "artsy".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An alternate view of the Chicago boot-leg era. 19 May 2014
By J. CROSBY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I love history and have been an avid reader of it since Jr. High (back in the mid 1960's). When it comes to the topic of Depression era criminals in the mid west, I thought I possessed an extensive knowledge. I considered myself well read. I learned a thing or two from this book and I can see now another side of the gangster world---the seedy side that is usually glossed over. I am amazed at the level of blatant white slavery going on in Chicago 100 years ago. So many women and children fell victim to criminal sociopaths. The author did a magnificent job of sleuthing out the details of the underworld. I learned many things I previously knew nothing about (being an armchair historian).I sorta view the era in a different light now. Great job Ms. Davis! Very admirable. I recommend this book and consider it a must have for a Capone era bookshelf.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret Life Secret Death by Genevieve Davis 23 May 2013
By Mary Liegel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A very interesting story by Genevieve Davis, of how lives were caught up in tradgedy by involvement with mafia leading to prostitution and illegal liquor sales. The results of how this affected family members is gripping. The ending leaves you with a sympathetic feeling for all who are involved. Very interesting story that I couldn't put down. The research on this book covering the mafia connections was unbelievably thourough. Mary Liegel
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