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Book Review - Boardwalk Empire.

Book Review - Boardwalk Empire.

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Published by Joe Bruno
The book “Boardwalk Empire” is a great read and highly recommended, as is the television program of the same name; but for entirely different reasons.
The book “Boardwalk Empire” is a great read and highly recommended, as is the television program of the same name; but for entirely different reasons.

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Published by: Joe Bruno on Jun 26, 2012
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10/26/2013

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Book Review: Boardwalk EmpireAfter watching the HBO program
Boardwalk Empire Season One
on Netflix (4 disks - 12episodes),
I decided to purchase the book “Boardwalk Empire,” written by Nelson Johnson, onwhich the HBO program was based. Whereas, the TV program concentrates on Enoch “Nucky”Johnson’s control of Atlantic City in the Roaring
Twenties, the book gives a much more
comprehensive look at Atlantic City; from its creation in the 1850’s, up until the publication
date of the book, which was published in 2002.
Donald Trump’s attempted takeover of AtlanticCity’s gambling
interests are highlighted here too.In the early 1800s, Atlantic City, originally called Absecon Island, was nothing but swamps andweeds on the banks of the Atlantic Ocean. However, Dr. Jonathan Pitney saw potential in thetiny island; as a vacation spot for the not-so-rich -
 people who couldn’t afford th
e tony beachresorts that dotted the Jersey shore from Philadelphia to central New Jersey.Pitney started his quest to build his dream resort -
his “city b
y the sea
-
in the 1830’s. However 
,since Absecon Island was reachable only by boat, and horse and w
agon, it wasn’t until 1851,
thatPitney convinced the Jersey state legislature to construct a railroad from the mainland to his newcity, which he
christened “Atlantic City.”
As soon as the railroad was completed, Atlantic Citystarted teeming with tourists, but only in the warm summer months - from mid- May to mid-October. Still, that was enough time for the entrepreneurs who set up shop in Atlantic City tomake enough cash to support them through the frigid fall and winter months.By 1890, Atlantic City w
as known as “Philadelphia’s Playground,” and raking in tons of cash for 
its businesses. But it was ripe for a corrupt takeover, and that takeover arrived in the name of 
Louis Kuehnle, known as “The Commodore.”
Kuehnle owned Kuehnle Hotel, where he presidedover the Republican
Party’s
interests with an iron fist covered by a velvet glove.Kuehnle got kickbacks from everyone and everything in Atlantic City. Gamblers, bars,restaurants and even brothel
’s kicked into Kuehnle’
s coffers. Soon Kuehnle had interests in theAtlantic City Gas company, and the Central Passenger Railroad Company, which transportedpassengers into Atlantic City.However, the reformists in the state of New Jersey, led by moderate Governor Woodrow Wilson(who later became President of the United States), finally got the goods on Kuehnle. Kuehnlewas tried and convicted of corruption, and sentenced to one year of hard labor.However,
the Republican Party barely missed a beat. Kuehnle’s place was taken by former 
Atlantic City Sheriff 
Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, and Johnson
transformed
Kuehnle’s
crudecorruption machine into a fine art form.

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