Gangbuster One Man's Battle Against Crime, Corruption, and the Klan

Format: Hardcover
Pub. Date: 2023-03-28
Publisher(s): Citadel
List Price: $28.00

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As gripping as it is prescient, Gangbuster is the first-ever history of the battle waged by one rookie District Attorney, Philip Van Cise, against the KKK, organized crime, and government corruption at the highest levels throughout the 1920s. One century later, in the face of contemporary society’s divisiveness and fearmongering politics, the personal courage of this maverick’s battle against underworld figures and a mainstream white supremacist movement is more relevant and inspiring than ever.

At the height of the roaring 1920s, the ex-frontier town of Denver, Colorado, emerged from the postwar boom as the future of the American city. But behind the modern façade seethed a murky brew of organized crime, elaborate swindles, and a widespread racist conspiracy. One man risked everything to alter the course of history.
Rookie district attorney Phillip Van Cise was already making national headlines for a new brand of law enforcement. Employing military intelligence tools he’d developed during the Great War—wiretapping, undercover operatives, communication intercepts—Cise crippled the criminal empire of Lou Blonger, a mining tycoon who had risen from petty scam artist to master of the Big Con. But Cise had even darker, more malevolent forces on his radar.
The Ku Klux Klan had emerged as a shockingly mainstream middle-class movement, employing anti-immigration fearmongering, encouraging vigilantism, instigating culture wars, and claiming to protect true American values. Van Cise saw the toxic ideology for what it was: a new configuration of the Big Con successfully sold as populism. Utilizing his pioneering surveillance techniques, Van Cise was determined to expose the Invisible Empire from within.
Gripping and exhaustively researched, this is the first-ever full account of Phillip Van Cise’s spectacular career as a feared gangbuster whose battles with organized crime, the KKK, and corruption at the highest levels of government forever changed the rules of engagement.

Author Biography

Alan Prendergast is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Outside, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, as well as The Best American Sports Writing and The Best American Crime Reporting. His nonfiction crime book, The Poison Tree, was an Edgar Award finalist and his stories have appeared in The Best American Crime Reporting and The Best American Sports Writing. He lives in Colorado, where he is a senior contributor for Denver’s weekly newspaper, Westword, and part-time professor at Colorado College.

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