Said Chicago’s Al Capone:“I Give The Public What The Public Wants…”

What the public wanted, it seemed, was a vice and bootleg business netting sixty million dollars a year-and many gangland funerals

The newspapers called him Scarface, but the sobriquet did not safely bear repeating in his presence. It was Mister Capone instead, or Big Al; or, among trusted lieutenants of his palace guard, “Snorky,” a street word connoting a certain princely elegance. The elegance was mostly in cloth, in expensive suits from Marshall Field, silk pajamas from Sulka, the upholstery of the custom Cadillac that was said to have cost more than twenty grand in 1920’s dollars.

 
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The Policeman’s Lot

Benevolent father figure? Bloody-handed Cossack? Slow-witted flatfoot? Irish grafter? Brave but underpaid public servant? Check your prejudice against this inquiry into police history

 

“The police … are virtually in a state of mutiny. Their hearts are not in their work, they have no pride in their office, they have the inclination to evade duty, give service grudgingly, and are constantly praying for a change. A sullen, discontented and discouraged army will not win battles. …”

A contemporary sociologist, describing the current crisis in the American police? No, it is William McAdoo. describing the New York Police Department shortly before he became its commissioner in 1904. Read more »