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The Vendetta

Special Agent Melvin Purvis, John Dillinger, and Hoover's FBI in the Age of Gangsters

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


In The Vendetta, author Alston Purvis recounts the story of his father, Melvin Purvis, the iconic G-man and public hero made famous by his remarkable sweep of the great Public Enemies of the American Depression—John Dillinger; Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson. Purvis’s successes led FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover to grow increasingly jealous, to the point where he vowed to bring down Purvis. Hoover smeared Purvis’s reputation, and tried to erase his name from all records of the FBI's greatest triumphs. This book sets the record straight, and provides a grippingly authentic new telling of the gangster era, seen from the perspective of the pursuers.

From Publishers Weekly

Aug 29, 2005 – Purvis's fascinating story of his father, once internationally famous for his role in the violent takedown of John Dillinger and now an obscure figure, limns a true American tragedy. The senior Purvis's meteoric rise to prominence at the FBI, just coming into its own, placed the genteel lawyer at the center of the war on crime that gripped the nation in the early 1930s. His enthusiasm and dedication caught the notice of FBI director J. Edgar Hoover, who promoted him repeatedly and gave him more and more serious responsibilities. But Hoover's pettiness and paranoia led him to turn on his prot g , even reaching out decades after Purvis's departure from the Bureau to block him from other jobs. The book's impact is lessened somewhat by florid writing ("Something evil came to Wellsville in the dead of night"). Purvis (with People magazine writer Tresniowski) could have compensated for the existence of rival narratives such as Bryan Burrough's definitive Public Enemies by dwelling more on his own memories of his father, rather than giving details of manhunts for gangsters, but he succeeds in giving Melvin Purvis the accolades he deserves. Illus. not seen by PW.
The Vendetta
View in iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: May 05, 2009
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs
  • Seller: Hachette Digital, Inc.
  • Print Length: 400 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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