Saturday, February 10, 2007

Dary Matera John Dillinger

Well, I finished reading Dary Matera's John Dillinger The Life and Death of America's First Celebrity Criminal ; actually I reread it. Books like this usually take a couple of reads because they have so much information. What's great about it is that it is not as biased as some of the earlier works and it appears to be well researched and has good notes. The only thing that bothers me is that much of the work is based upon personal archives that aren't accessible to the general public. I'd love to see that stuff.

Anyway Johnny D. comes off as believable in this book. Some of the books seem hell bent on making sure that you know what a swell guy Dillinger was or they want to demonize him. This book presents a balanced portrait. A human being who made some bad decisions. Not good not evil: human.

I enjoyed the fact that the book paid some attention to Dillinger's relationship with Billie Freschette and what she meant to him. The book demonstrates Billie's humor and guile. It's also one of 2 books that I know that dispute that Dillinger ever slugged Freschette. There are a few errors but minor not glaring. Errors such as Helen Gillis in the riding outfit at Little Bohemia (it wasn't Helen), some things that don't really mean much.

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