Dillinger's Wild Ride by Elliott J. Gorn
The Year That Made America's Public Enemy Number One

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In an era that witnessed the rise of celebrity outlaws like Baby Face Nelson, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde, John Dillinger was the most famous and flamboyant of them all. Reports on the man and his misdeeds--spiced with accounts of his swashbuckling bravado and cool daring--provided an America worn down by the Great Depression with a salacious mix of sex and violence that proved irresistible.
In Dillinger's Wild Ride, Elliott J. Gorn provides a riveting account of the year between 1933 and 1934, when the Dillinger gang pulled over a dozen bank jobs, and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars. A dozen men--police, FBI agents, gangsters, and civilians--lost their lives in the rampage, and American newspapers breathlessly followed every shooting and jail-break. As Dillinger's wild year unfolded, the tale grew larger and larger in newspapers and newsreels, and even today, Dillinger is the subject of pulp literature, serious poetry and fiction, and films, including a new movie starring Johnny Depp. What is the power of his story? Why has it lingered so long? Who was John Dillinger? Gorn illuminates the significance of Dillinger's tremendous fame and the endurance of his legacy, arguing that he represented an American fascination with primitive freedom against social convention. Dillinger's story has much to tell us about our enduring fascination with outlaws, crime and violence, about the complexity of our transition from rural to urban life, and about the transformation of America during the Great Depression.
Dillinger's Wild Ride is a compulsively readable story with an unforgettable protagonist.

About Elliott J. Gorn

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Elliott J. Gorn is Professor of History and American Studies at Brown University. He is the author of The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America and Mother Jones: The Most Dangerous Woman in America, among other books.
Published May 4, 2009 by Oxford University Press, USA. 289 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Crime. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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One year in the life of legendary criminal John Dillinger.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Dillinger's Wild Ride:The Yea...

The Bookbag

More than a fifth of the book is notes on the text but as they are separate from the many body of the text it's possible to read the book without constantly being pulled away from the subject matter to read a footnote.

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Dillinger's Wild Ride:The Yea...

Islington Tribute

Helped partly by his daring, Wild West-style escapades – while being held in prison as America’s “Public Enemy Number One”, he managed to lock the entire police staff in a cell, threatening them with a wooden gun he’d carved himself during his confinement – but also because his crimes took place ...

Dec 29 2011 | Read Full Review of Dillinger's Wild Ride:The Yea...

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