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Uncle Al Capone
Deirdre Marie Capone

Recap Publishing Co.
10/27/2010 / ISBN: 978-0982845103

Reviewed by Dennis Collins

Deirdre Capone is the great niece of the infamous Al Capone and this book is the Capone story as seen through her eyes.

It traces the family as it grew and moved from Italy to Brooklyn and finally Chicago where Al Capone built his bootlegging empire. There are interesting tidbits about how Capone tried to acquire ownership of the Chicago Cubs and some rather bold claims that it was not Al Capone's gang but the Chicago Police Department who carried out the St Valentine's Day Massacre.

The author talks about Capone's time in Alcatraz where the family was convinced he was subjected to medical experiments designed to neutralize him. But much of the book is devoted to how the extended family coped with the notoriety of their family name and the prejudices that came along with it. Deirdre talks about being fired from her job after higher management became aware of her roots.

There is much insight into the Capone household and their traditional Sunday dinners. The author even includes many Capone recipes at the end of the book along with a list of Al Capone classic quotes.

I'd say that the book is more about the Capone family than about Al himself. It seems more focused on Deirdre and how she handled growing up in the shadow of one of the most notorious gangsters in history, a stigma that contributed to her father's suicide.

If you're looking for a book that details the exploits of Al Capone, this is not the place you'll find it. It's an interesting and entertaining read about the peripheral players in Al Capone's life, but it's strictly a family story.

Reviewer & Columnist Dennis Collins is the author of Turn Left at September, The Unreal McCoy, and The First Domino
Reviewed 2012