AMERICA HAS A love-hate for its prominent criminals, who periodically dominate the media. In the 1870s it was Jesse James and his gang, robbing trains and banks. In the 1880s and 1890s it was the Robber Barons of industry. In the early 1900s it was public corruption, scourged by the Muckrakers. The 1920s were the age of the bootleggers. In our own time attention has switched back to Wall Street crime. The early 1930s were the classic period of 'Public Enemies', usually bank robbers, using fast cars and the new Thompson sub-machine gun.
That era, neatly timed to coincide with the arrival of talkies and of Jimmy Cagney to play the chief baddie in them, was also the heyday of J Edgar Hoover and his FBI. This book, which claims to be the first accurate, objective and thorough examination of Hoover's successful fight