December DPL Non-Fiction
December 22, 2020
Book: The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius by Bob Batchelor
Love, murder, political intrigue, mountains of cash, and rivers of bourbon . . . The tale of George Remus is a grand spectacle and a lens into the dark heart of Prohibition. Yes, Congress gave teeth to Prohibition in October 1919, but the law didn’t stop George Remus from amassing a fortune that would be worth billions of dollars today. As one Jazz Age journalist put it, “Remus was to bootlegging what Rockefeller was to oil.”
Author Bob Batchelor breathes life into the largest bootlegging operation in America—greater than that of Al Capone—and a man considered the best criminal defense lawyer of his era. Remus bought an empire of distilleries on Kentucky’s “Bourbon Trail” and used his other profession, as a pharmacist, to profit off legal loopholes. He spent millions bribing officials in the Harding Administration, and he created a roaring lifestyle that epitomized the Jazz Age over which he ruled.
That is, before he came crashing down in one of the most sensational murder cases in American history: a cheating wife, the G-man who seduced her and put Remus in jail, and the plunder of a Bourbon Empire. Remus murdered his wife in cold-blood and then shocked a nation winning his freedom based on a condition he invented—temporary maniacal insanity.