The Ghosts of Eden Park: The Bootleg King, the Women Who Pursued Him, and the Murder That Shocked Jazz-Age America (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


Historian Abbott is an absolute genius. She brings the Roaring 20s to life, with dialogue that not only jumps off the page, but lists it’s sources in the back of the book. Bootleggers, pearl-handled revolvers, car chases, squirt guns filled with bourbon, and GHOSTS!  

The Ghosts of Eden Park reads better than the very best historical fiction -- because really, you couldn’t make this up! George Remus is a larger-than-life character who owned more than 35% of the liquor in the US at one time. His extravagances, giving cars as party favors at his New Years’ Eve party, a solid gold piano, are only matched by how far down he falls, and how hard he fought to keep what he considered his due. 

It was so fascinating seeing glimpses of pre-FBI director J. Edgar Hoover,  Al Capone as a protegee, and best of all, meet Mabel Willebrand. Fresh out of law school, she’s hired to investigate Remus, basically as a patsy, seen as no threat. However, she’d fit right in with the powerful women in politics today. She was powerful, determined, and blazingly intelligent. And, much like today, had to judge what she wore in court, as every detail of her appearance was reported on in the papers. Have we really not come further in almost 100 years?!

— From Kym recommends

August 2019 Indie Next List


“This true crime story reads like a great murder mystery and will have you hooked from the start. Wonderful research pulls you right into the story, in which readers are introduced to George Remus, a bootlegging lawyer/millionaire during the prohibition Jazz Age, and Mabel Walker Willebrandt, who is given the job of prosecutor because the corrupt U.S. Attorney’s office doesn’t think she will pose a threat to their relationship with Remus. Willebrandt will prove them wrong. The tension, greed, and flair of The Ghosts of Eden Park makes this the best nonfiction book of the summer!”
— Debbie Scheller, A Likely Story, Sykesville, MD

Description


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - The epic true crime story of the most successful bootlegger in American history and the murder that shocked the nation, from the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City and Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy

"Gatsby-era noir at its best."--Erik Larson

An ID Book Club Selection - NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST HISTORY BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SMITHSONIAN

In the early days of Prohibition, long before Al Capone became a household name, a German immigrant named George Remus quits practicing law and starts trafficking whiskey. Within two years he's a multi-millionaire. The press calls him King of the Bootleggers, writing breathless stories about the Gatsby-esque events he and his glamorous second wife, Imogene, host at their Cincinnati mansion, with party favors ranging from diamond jewelry for the men to brand-new cars for the women. By the summer of 1921, Remus owns 35 percent of all the liquor in the United States.

Pioneering prosecutor Mabel Walker Willebrandt is determined to bring him down. Willebrandt's bosses at the Justice Department hired her right out of law school, assuming she'd pose no real threat to the cozy relationship they maintain with Remus. Eager to prove them wrong, she dispatches her best investigator, Franklin Dodge, to look into his empire. It's a decision with deadly consequences. With the fledgling FBI on the case, Remus is quickly imprisoned for violating the Volstead Act. Her husband behind bars, Imogene begins an affair with Dodge. Together, they plot to ruin Remus, sparking a bitter feud that soon reaches the highest levels of government--and that can only end in murder.

Combining deep historical research with novelistic flair, The Ghosts of Eden Park is the unforgettable, stranger-than-fiction story of a rags-to-riches entrepreneur and a long-forgotten heroine, of the excesses and absurdities of the Jazz Age, and of the infinite human capacity to deceive.

Praise for The Ghosts of Eden Park

"An exhaustively researched, hugely entertaining work of popular history that . . . exhumes a colorful crew of once-celebrated characters and restores them to full-blooded life. . . . Abbott's] m tier is narrative nonfiction and--as this vibrant, enormously readable book makes clear--she is one of the masters of the art."--The Wall Street Journal

"Satisfyingly sensational and thoroughly researched."--The Columbus Dispatch

"Absorbing . . . a Prohibition-era page-turner."--Chicago Tribune

About the Author


Abbot Kahler (formerly known as Karen Abbott) is the New York Times bestselling author of Sin in the Second City; American Rose; Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy; and The Ghosts of Eden Park. A native of Philadelphia, she now lives in New York City.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780451498632
ISBN-10: 0451498631
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
Publication Date: May 5th, 2020
Pages: 448
Language: English

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