The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation

Joe Urschel

You are here: Home - Uncategorized - The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation


The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation

The Year of Fear Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation It s and Prohibition has given rise to the American gangster now infamous names like Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger Bank robberies at gunpoint are commonplace and kidnapping for ransom is th

  • Title: The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation
  • Author: Joe Urschel
  • ISBN: 9781250020796
  • Page: 273
  • Format: Hardcover
  • It s 1933 and Prohibition has given rise to the American gangster now infamous names like Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger Bank robberies at gunpoint are commonplace and kidnapping for ransom is the scourge of a lawless nation With local cops unauthorized to cross state lines in pursuit and no national police force, safety for kidnappers is just a short trip on backIt s 1933 and Prohibition has given rise to the American gangster now infamous names like Bonnie and Clyde and John Dillinger Bank robberies at gunpoint are commonplace and kidnapping for ransom is the scourge of a lawless nation With local cops unauthorized to cross state lines in pursuit and no national police force, safety for kidnappers is just a short trip on back roads they know well from their bootlegging days Gangster George Machine Gun Kelly and his wife, Kathryn, are some of the most celebrated criminals of the Great Depression With gin running operations facing extinction and bank vaults with dwindling stores of cash, Kelly sets his sights on the easy money racket of kidnapping His target rich oilman, Charles Urschel.Enter J Edgar Hoover, a desperate Justice Department bureaucrat who badly needs a successful prosecution to impress the new administration and save his job Hoover s agents are given the sole authority to chase kidnappers across state lines and when Kelly bungles the snatch job, Hoover senses his big opportunity What follows is a thrilling 20,000 mile chase over the back roads of Depression era America, crossing 16 state lines, and generating headlines across America along the way a historical mystery thriller for the ages.Joe Urschel s The Year of Fear is a thrilling true crime story of gangsters and lawmen and how an obscure federal bureaucrat used this now legendary kidnapping case to launch the FBI.

    • [PDF] Download ↠ The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation | by ¹ Joe Urschel
      273 Joe Urschel
    • thumbnail Title: [PDF] Download ↠ The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation | by ¹ Joe Urschel
      Posted by:Joe Urschel
      Published :2019-01-09T10:27:15+00:00

    One thought on “The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation

    1. Matthew on said:

      Very interesting, but very textbook. Not much more than this happened followed by this followed by this etc. without much more outside of the events of the story (not sure I am describing this well, but it stood out a lot compared to other non-fiction I have read)For history buffs, for mafia buffs, for true crime buffs I think this quick read about one of America's most notorious criminals will be well received.I just found this sweet poster from a 1950s movie starring Charles Bronson (his first [...]

    2. Mike on said:

      My first win of a Advanced Readers Copy is a good one! A solid 4 Star account of "Machine Gun" Kelly's kidnapping of Charles Urschel, one of the most famous crimes of the day---that I had not ever heard of. This story is at the heart of many events that will be familiar to us all:-The rise of J Edgar Hoover-The transformation of the FBI into a premier law enforcement agency-The start of massive growth of federal criminal law-The building of Alcatraz prison-The use of propaganda by an aggressive [...]

    3. Rob on said:

      A barn burner. George “Machine Gun” Kelly may be the main character, but this is a great look at America in the early 1930s when Prohibition has given rise to gangsters and G-men. Bank robberies at gunpoint are becoming common place, and a new crime – kidnappings for ransom (“the snatch racket”; think Lindbergh’s baby) – is sweeping the nation. In steps newly appointed J. Edgar Hoover with a mission dictated by FDR to clean up this national crime wave. Arresting and prosecuting Kel [...]

    4. victor harris on said:

      When George " Machine Gun" Kelly and his gang captured oil magnate Joe Urschel Sr. they not only ignited a madcap manhunt but also altered the course of American law enforcement history. Federal law enforcement and what would be known as the FBI under J. Edgar Hoover was largely toothless at the time. Agents didn't even carry weapons and Hoover's job was in peril. That all changed with a spate of kidnappings on the heels of the famous Lindbergh Kidnapping. Members of wealthy families were often [...]

    5. Janice on said:

      The year is 1933 and organized crime seems to rule the nation. The FBI is considered inept, most police departments are in the pockets of organized crime and now that prohibition is over kidnapping is the easy way to raise money. So when George “Machine Gun” Kelly and his wife, Katheryn decide to kidnap Charles Urschel, it seems like a simple job. But J. Edgar Hoover is in charge of the FBI and he, along with the new attorney general and FDR, are looking to put a stop to organized crime. Wha [...]

    6. Ben on said:

      An interesting and novelistic telling of a reign of terror in the American heartland during the darl years of the Depression of the 1930's.The terror came fron bandits who ran wild, robbing banks almost at will, shooting up small towns, taking hostages and killing bystanders. Then, inspired, if that is the word, by the infamous Lindbergh kidnapping they branch out into kidnapping as a lucrative sideline. Soon, the wealthy came to fear every stranger's gaze. Once the upper class complained , the [...]

    7. Dorie on said:

      What a ride this book is! I’ve always been interested in the time of Prohibition and beyond when gangsters held many cities in their grip. Prohibition always seemed so completely un-American to me, the idea that the government should decide whether citizens could drink alcohol or not.But this book centers on the time when Prohibition was about to end and gangsters such as Machine Gun Kelly were facing the extinction of their gin running operations and looking for other ways to fund their lifes [...]

    8. Fred Shaw on said:

      The author of "The Year of Fear", Joe Ursschel, wrote the story of Machine Gun Kelly's kidnapping of Charles Urscel, a rich oil tycoon who by the way was no relation to the author, and subsequent capture of Kelly by the US Federal government. What an interesting coincidence between author and character. J. Edgar Hoover was able to get a national police force (FBI) established by catching Kelly. BUT, he could not have caught Kelly in the short amount of time he was able to, if Kelly had not let U [...]

    9. Jim on said:

      I just finished this book, and it was a great read. Tells of the advent of the FBI during the depression era. Machine Gun Kelly was the catalyst, kidnapping was the money maker for the gangsters. It's based on actual events, using testimony of those still surviving today, news paper stories and correspondence between the players. It tells of the king of the oil men, Tom Slick, and his trusted accountant, Charles F. Urschel, who was kidnapped by Kelly, at the request of Kelly's money hungry wife. [...]

    10. Connor on said:

      I received this book for free from a giveaway. I found it to be very well researched, well organized and well written. It brings to life one of the most notorious gangsters of the 1930's and gives the reader a view of who George "Machine Gun" Kelly was and how he actually and unwittingly helped to create the FBI and made J. Edgar Hoover famous.As someone with a B.A. in American History, I found it very interesting, in that it gave a different view of the Prohibition Era gangster's that one sees [...]

    11. Joy on said:

      In the 1930's, when bootlegging became unnecessary and banks didn't have enough money to make bank robbery worth the risk, gangsters turned to kidnapping. Local police could not cross state lines to pursue kidnappers and were likely to be in cahoots with the criminals. In 1933 a federal kidnapping law changed this and Joe Urschel's kidnapping became the first to be solved and prosecuted under the new law.“Machine Gun” Kelly and his wife Kathryn were colorful characters—charming, good-looki [...]

    12. Susan Csoke on said:

      George and Kathryn Kelly were in the banking business?! in Boulder Colorado, a twelve hour commute from their home in Fort Worth. George spent a lifetime as a bootlegger. Since his release from prison in February of 1930, Kelly has made a career of robbing banks. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> J. Edgar Hoover at age 36 was the Director of the U.S. Dept. of Justice Bureau of Investigation. His teams investigation of the lindbergh baby kidnapping had [...]

    13. Fredrick Danysh on said:

      An excellent discussion of the events in 1933 surrounding the kidnapping of Charles Urschel by George "Machine Gun" Kelley and the role of J. Edgar Hoover. There is some early biographical data on the major players as well as there ultimate fates. The attitudes of the Kelley gang and Hoover are discussed as well as Hoover's willingness to break the law to gain and hold power. This is a good historical read of the gangster years of the Great Depression. My copy was a free review copy through .

    14. Ford on said:

      Learned how the FBI was started and it's tainted past. Kelly's trial has a sham and the judge should have never been allowed to be the judge because he was a friend of the victim. The judicial system was more corrupt back in the 30's than it is now. Also police brutality and corruption were worse back then than even now. I don't want to sound to much like a liberal, but Kelly was indeed a bad guy and needed to be locked up. The more things change the more they stay the same.

    15. Patrick Macke on said:

      interesting times and circumstances, but this book is mostly about the earliest days of the FBI and. J Edgar Hoover's heavy-handed, publicity-seeking hand therein no real "fear" or crime drama, as Kelly's threat was really overblown I'd call this book a not-so-near miss

    16. John on said:

      Interesting subject but the author spends too much time transcribing the trial record when he should be writing.Worth a skim not a read.

    17. Neil Pierson on said:

      In the United States today, there is certainly a high level of anxiety (obsession? hysteria?) about terrorism. Back in the 1930s, there was that same level of interest and fear about kidnapping. Gangsters were the 1930s version of ISIS, and the Lindbergh kidnapping/murder was the 1930s version of September 11.In 1933, criminals realized that they could no longer rely on two dependable cash cows: Bank robbery and bootlegging. The Dust Bowl and the Great Depression sucked cash out of the banks. A [...]

    18. Crystal on said:

      I found this book both informative and engaging. America during the 1920's and 30's is one of my favorite eras to read about, and this one didn't disappoint. Mr. Urschel did an excellent job of researching the crime wave in the American mid-west, and also presented the various perspectives of all parties. The book centers on the manhunt for Machine Gun Kelly gang as a result of the kidnapping of a wealthy Oklahoma City oil magnate. This, coming on the heels of a new kidnapping law enacted based [...]

    19. Art on said:

      Joe Urschel went to the Library of Congress and did what many of us might do: he searched the library data base for his last name. Imagine his surprise when it turned up the name of one of America's most famous kidnapping victims.In the resulting book, he details the kidnapping of Charles Urschel (no relation, it turns out) in an entertaining, well-written book that captures the flavor of the times when bad men were revered, when kidnapping was becoming a cottage industry in the US and when the [...]

    20. Julia on said:

      Fascinating book about organized crime in America in the 1930's and 40's and the birth of the FBI as a federal agency. On a purely personal note, this book had way too many names to remember. I get it that it's non-fiction, but still, there were really an exceptionally large number of names to try to remember.

    21. Darcie Saunier on said:

      This was an interesting read about the 1930s, George Kelly and his peers, and the rise of the FBI. Not a very exciting or “page-turner” type of gangster book, but interesting nonetheless.

    22. Will Brooks on said:

      Although the story has a lot amazing facts. The usage of actual documents becomes cumbersome.

    23. Alger on said:

      This is a book I would strongly recommend to true crime fans and those interested in the origins of the potent myth factory of the FBI under J Edgar Hoover. There is a wealth of detail about the sinister changes the end of Prohibition forced on organized crime and some smart reframing of the meaning of Machine Gun Kelly by the author. The downside is the writing, and some of the themes the author pulls in to make his story "Big Picture".One of the hardest things about writing a history is pullin [...]

    24. Jeff Rudisel on said:

      Yes indeed. Great stuff.A heroic tale of a kidnap victim who cooly helps turn the tide of crime in '30s America.Yes indeed. Great stuff.

    25. Jake Hahn on said:

      An overly short book with an ending that seemed to drag on forever.

    26. Jan on said:

      Another book where a half star would be useful, because this is more of a 2.5 than a 2 for me.I wanted to like it more than I did, which was how I powered through when I would have really rather given up. To be fair, there was a lot of interest in here. I enjoyed learning about Machine Gun Kelly, about the kidnapping epidemic of the 1930s (I had no idea that there even was such a thing), and about the rise of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI. I even enjoyed gleaning some information about the oil boo [...]

    27. Ronnie Cramer on said:

      There's a lot of interesting information in this book, though the presentation isn't so hot. Two stars for the writing and four stars for the story so I gave it an overall rating of three stars.

    28. Steve on said:

      Tells the story of the kidnapping of Charles Urshcel (not related to the author) by "Machine Gun" Kelly and his wife and partners. In 1933, banks were running low on cash, so they weren't where all the money was. Urschel was a wealthy oilman. He was kidnapped, and held in the country for a while, but was very observant, and remembered many details (through a blindfold) that lead police easily to where he had been held, after his family paid the ransom. The author tells the story well and breezil [...]

    29. Natalie on said:

      To me this was a book that took some time reading, so not a quick read, but I was happy that I stuck it out and finished it. I found so many of the facts interesting. I like history books and reading about the mobs especially about Al Capone and I was happy when his name was mentioned in this book. It was neat to see how much has changed since Machine Gun Kelly ruled and how things came about because of the kidnapping. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes a good book on American hist [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *