Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Inside The Untold Story of Uncle Al Capone
Guest Blogger/Editor: Chris Manganaro
The name Al Capone brings a variety of words to mind, but it seems unlikely that many people would think of the word uncle. It is most likely that no one has ever thought of Al Capone in that way because it is not a part of his image. Not the image that history and the media have painted anyway.
As with most things in life, we are influenced more by what we see and what we are told than what we actually think. Most people have learned about Al Capone from either history classes or television and movies or perhaps even all three. These views of Al Capone are only one side of the story.
In Deirdre Marie Capone’s book Uncle Al Capone: The Untold Story from Inside his Family we are shown a different side to Al Capone, the side of those most familiar with him: his family and friends.
Within her book, Deirdre explores the family history using facts that she gathered from her family as well as from her own experiences. This makes it feel as if it is part autobiography and part family history. By constructing the book in such a way, she is able to naturally incorporate the idea of family into every facet of the book. With a larger than life character such as Al Capone gracing the cover, it is no easy feat to cover so much ground.
Al Capone, of course, cannot be ignored and so we are shown how his presence and existence affected the family during and after his death. It is more than likely that someone reading this book has some interest in learning more about Al Capone. Deirdre does not disappoint those types of readers, as she tries to add details about Al Capone and the family that have never been written about before. Did you know that Al Capone was a fan of jazz and helped give many famous jazz players their starts?
Of course, the book is still engaging to those readers who do not have a particular interest in Al Capone as it is filled with many interesting stories and insights into living in a family with a notorious name.
The book tries to show how much of what Al Capone did was for his family. He was making money to support his family just like anyone else. The only difference is that he was forced to use an alternative method. To him, The Outfit, as they called it, was a business.
We also see; however, the negative aspects of being related to Al Capone through not only Deirdre’s own experiences, but her families’. There were instances of suicide and lost jobs, yet, despite everything, their family was still warm and loving.
The incorporation of photos and recipes in the book help to make her point about the Capone family being just like any other family. When looking at the photographs, one would be hard pressed not to see their own family photos in them. According to the book, Al Capone was very family oriented and so the photos are like evidence to back up the fact.
The recipes have the same sort of effect. All families have their own special recipes. The Capone’s were just like everyone else. Al Capone even enjoyed cooking.
In the end, all parts of the book add up to form a picture of Al Capone that has never been seen before. Deirdre claims on more than one occasion that her “Uncle Al was not perfect” but the point that she was trying to make is that he was human. He wanted to help his family and keep them safe. He suffered from nightmares. He was not the monster that people may have seen him as, but a living, breathing person who had his own thoughts and feelings. His own family.