Brendan’s Alternate Tagline for Crooked:
Thank God politicians aren’t criminals like this anymore.
The story of a corrupt Attorney General and the senator who tried to bring him.
Fact for Non-History People:
How about this for graft? During World War I, Wright-Martin Aircraft Corporation overcharged the government by $2 million dollars. They never delivered a single plane to the European theater.
Fact for History Nerds:
In many places during this era, it was a crime for unmarried couples to register at hotels under false names.
My Take on Crooked:
These days, the news will have you believe every new political scandal is the biggest one ever and something like this has never happened before. Well, then come meet disgraced Attorney General Harry Daugherty!
Crooked by Nathan Masters is all about the epic take down of Daugherty by Senator Burton Wheeler in the 1920s. By itself, this is already a great story of a new senator taking on an entrenched political animal with the power of what would become the FBI. Crooked detectives, personal lives shrouded in secrecy, and dirty money; what more can you possibly want?
While the story writes itself in many ways, Masters writes this story…well, masterfully. Pun not intended but let’s roll with it. Instead of reciting facts and events, Masters slowly reveals new characters as they come into the focus of the story. What results is a historical true crime narrative that feels like a thriller at times. However, Masters doesn’t fall into the trap of turning everyone into a trope. He keeps perspective throughout the story. Burton Wheeler is our ostensible hero, but that does not mean he is without his faults. This is a great book and I loved all of it.
(This book was provided as an advance copy by Netgalley and Hachette Books.)
A fantastic book everyone will love. Buy it here!