Lawrence Block (ed.): Gangsters, Swindlers, Killers, and Thieves
From the Publisher:
Block introduces each biography with a writer's eye for character and a good story. He begins the book with a short essay that considers how Americans have defined and regarded villains through history.
The biographies, culled from the pages of the American National Biography and illustrated with archival photographs, describe each villain's background, exploits, and eventual fate--often with unexpected details. The convicted killer Nathan Leopold, for example, became the administrator of a leprosy hospital after his parole. The gangster Dutch Schultz was known not only for his bootlegging expertise but also for his cheap, ill-fitting clothes. The stagecoach bandit Black Bart fancied himself a poet (or, as he put it, "PO8"). And when outlaw Bill Doolin finally met his end, only a rusting buggy axle marked his grave.
Ideal for readers of true crime, crime fiction, and history, Gangsters, Swindlers, Killers, and Thieves brings a fresh perspective to American's fascination with crime and its perpetrators.
Lawrence Block (ed.): Gangsters, Swindlers, Killers, and Thieves. The Lives and Crimes of Fifty American Villains. Oxford University Press, ISBN: 0195169522 (May, 2004), 304 p., $26.00