[Read] ➱ Boardwalk Empire By Nelson Johnson – Uroturk.info
In Boardwalk Empire, Atlantic City Springs To Life In All Its Garish Splendor Author Nelson Johnson Traces AC From Its Birth As A Quiet Seaside Health Resort, Through The Notorious Backroom Politics And Power Struggles, To The City S Rebirth As An Entertainment And Gambling Mecca Where Anything Goes So Let s talk about this book Because my book club picked this book because the show is based on it and, well, let s just say there are only about two chapters of this book that the show is based on So if you re going into this because you want to learn about the background of the show, uh, you re not really going to find it Yes, you will get some good information But the show fills in a lot of blanks since this is basically just a basic overview of the history of Atlantic City.You will, however, learn a lot about the history of Atlantic City in this book and that is super interesting I live nowhere near Atlantic City and have never been there even though I do want to go, someday so my knowledge of it comes entirely from television So this book is definitely helpful for people like me who either think of it as the roaring 20 s city, as displayed in Boardwalk Empire, or the Vegas of the East, as it is now commonly known or as can be seen in episodes of shows like How I Met Your Mother Bridging the gap between those two, as this book does, was honestly fascinating.Unfortunately, though, my entire problem with this book is that that history is written in basically the driest manner possible I fell asleep several times while reading this book, even though I was fascinated by the information it was presenting And I originally read 30 pages of this book back in June of 2016 and didn t actually have the inspiration to get back to finishing it until now And even then it s only because I m trying to catch up with my book club clean off my currently reading shelf So It s not actually a book that inspires you to finish it unless you Really, Really Have a Hankering to Learn a Lot About Atlantic City But for people like me who were just interested in the show it, uh, wasn t exactly what I was looking for.So none of this is to say it s a really bad book It s just I wish the information had been presented a little bit differently For people like me Who apparently get bored very easily.But, anyway, I m so glad to finally be done with this book and I am glad I know about Atlantic City I do hope to visit it someday and this book will definitely help with seeing how its changed Atlantic City really does have a fascinating history and from someone who grew up in a town centered around tourism, it s always fascinating to see how others have fared So If you are curious about the history of Atlantic City, I do recommend this one But if you re just interested in learning about the background of the show, um, this isn t it and I would probably look elsewhere. If fans of the HBO series Boardwalk Empire read this hoping just for stories about corrupt politicians, gangsters, bootlegging, sex, violence, and a disfigured hit man, they re probably going to be disappointed However, anyone looking for an interesting history of Atlantic City from its humble beginnings of a second rate resort town through it s glory days of as a popular destination point during Prohibition because of it s total unwillingness to enforce anti booze laws to it s current state as a gambling town that is still plagued by urban decay would probably find this book interesting.While the author spends plenty of time on the reign of political boss and part time racketeer Nucky Johnson, the inspiration for the Steve Buscemi s character Nucky Thompson, and the way that the corrupt Republican machine built and ruled Atlantic City for decades, this is really a history and not a true crime book While the links between organized crime and the politicians is documented extensively, the book centers on the political corruption instead of gangland shenanigans.So while there s no Martin Scorsese style violence, it s an interesting history of a unique city. No, this isn t a pot boiler full of sex, violence and perfect looking people That s the highly entertaining, fiction based on fact TV series, and this is not the novelization of that show.What this is is the whole history of Atlantic City, from its founding as a health resort, its success mainly as a resort for working class folk from Philadelphia, its golden age under Nucky Johnson NOT Thompson , its post prohibition fall that continued for decades, and its rebirth as a casino resort town.What is especially interesting is the chapter on Atlantic City s African American community Nearly the entire work staff of the town was black, and lived under conditions that differed little from the plantations of the the pre Civil War South It s a sad and remarkable story.Johnson knows his subject and tells his story with far skill than most historians do if you read adult history books you ll know what I mean And I skimmed a great deal of the latter half of this book especially everything involving that nasty bastard Donald Trump where the narrative lags But if the TV series has piqued your curiosity about Atlantic City, this is worth looking into. This is the book the HBO series used for its basis Contrary to popular myth, Atlantic City was not a summer playground for the rich but rather a working class getaway that catered to every illicit whim Brothels and gambling flourished, but Prohibition really made Atlantic City famous and rich Under Nucky Johnson, the Commodore s successor, anything nominally illegal elsewhere could be had in Atlantic City A naughty time at an affordable price The short history of Atlantic City presented at the beginning of the book is really quite interesting The land was bought up originally to develop a health spa, but then, in order to make it accessible a railroad was required to get people from New York and Philadelphia But in order to compete with Cape May, summer playground of the rich, they tried to appeal to the working man so prices had to remain low Soon there were four railroads delivering customers in spite of swarms of green flies and mosquitoes that sometimes drove horses crazy not to mention people To serve customers cheaply, labor costs had to be kept low, and poor southern blacks who had suffered as slaves and were then abused after Reconstruction was destroyed politically, migrated to Atlantic City to fill the jobs Whites wanted nothing to do with them socially and soon the city was segregated into white and black ghettos The irony of it all was cruel to Blacks They earned a respectable wage, could vote, and own property They performed the most personal of services and were entrusted with important responsibilities, but they were barred from restaurants, amusement piers, and booths were denied shopping privileges by most stores were admitted to hotels only as workers were segregated in clinics and hospitals and could only bathe in one section of the beach, but even then had to wait until after dark Louis Kuehnle, otherwise known as the Commodore, was soon running the town, but in a wise, if corrupt, manner He focused on infrastructure, building water and transportation systems that functioned well, and paving the streets Commodore understood that Atlantic City s business owners would gladly sacrifice honest government for a profitable summer and he gave them what they wanted Kuehnle protected the rackets from prosecution and worked with the tourist industry to ensure its success In exchange, the community let him call the shots Unfortunately, following the election of Woodrow Wilson, the Presbyterian antithesis to anything fun and later president, to the NJ governorship cramped things Wilson was a crusader who saw things in black and white Impersonal in his relations, he attracted supporters in much the same way people latch on to an abstract principle His attorney general went after election fraud and that resulted in Kuehnle s imprisonment, opening the way for Nucky Johnson who was far corrupt and even controlling Johnson got himself appointed City Treasurer, a non elective office, which he held for decades and which held the key to all graft The 18th amendment played right into the hands of Nucky and all during Prohibition booze flowed freely and openly as Atlantic City became a huge transit port for liquor.Johnson had a gift for understanding people, their desires, and needs He managed to control the city to such an extent that virtually everyone owed their jobs to him Crucial to his power and the control of the Republican organization, he learned how to manipulate Atlantic City s Black population He continued the Commodore s private welfare system, but the assistance he gave Johnson went beyond what Kuehnle had done for blacks come the winter he was their savior Long stretches of unemployment in the off season could be devastating Johnson saw to it that the Northside had food, clothing, coal, and medical care If your kid needed a winter coat, all you had to do was ask maybe it wouldn t fit but it was warm If the grocer cut off your credit, the ward leader told you where to shop on the party s tab The same was true if someone needed a doctor or a prescription filled Corruption as good government.