The Vendetta: Special Agent Melvin Purvis, John Dillinger, and Hoover's FBI in the Age of Gangsters

The Vendetta: Special Agent Melvin Purvis, John Dillinger, and Hoover's FBI in the Age of Gangsters

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The Vendetta: Special Agent Melvin Purvis, John Dillinger, and Hoover's FBI in the Age of Gangsters by Alston Purvis

In The Vendetta, author Alston Purvis recounts the story of his father, Melvin Purvis, the iconic G-man and public hero made famous by his remarkable sweep of the great Public Enemies of the American Depression—John Dillinger; Pretty Boy Floyd, and Baby Face Nelson. Purvis’s successes led FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover to grow increasingly jealous, to the point where he vowed to bring down Purvis. Hoover smeared Purvis’s reputation, and tried to erase his name from all records of the FBI's greatest triumphs. This book sets the record straight, and provides a grippingly authentic new telling of the gangster era, seen from the perspective of the pursuers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786746668
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication date: 05/05/2009
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 400
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Alston Purvis has appeared widely in the media, including the History Channel and A&E, to talk about his father. He is head of Boston University's design department.
Alex Tresniowski is a senior writer for People magazine specializing in politics, crime and current events. The author of five books, including an upcoming biography of boxer Billy Conn, he lives in New Jersey.

What People are Saying About This

Tuscon Citizen

"This account, written by Purvis' son, is unflinching and sheds new light on the darker side of Hoover"
October 20, 2005

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The Vendetta: FBI Hero Melvin Purvis's War Against Crime, and J. Edgar Hoover's War Against Him 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Diane Morris More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent book. I knew Melvin Purvis and his sons. It was a piece of my history. Having read the book, I admire and respect the service work Mr. Purvis gave so willingly to his country. Mr. Hoover, as history has reported, should not have had the respect of this nation. He apparently--as history reports--was not a man of honor. I would like to thank Mr. Purvis family for sharing the life of their father with our country.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
HistorybuffAA More than 1 year ago
This a very lively, well-written, and closely researched book. Anyone interested in the FBI's early days and the 1930s gangster era will find it invaluable. The story is told through the life of FBI hero Melvin Purvis, who was responsible for capturing or killing such notorious criminals as John Dillinger and Pretty Boy Floyd and against whom J. Edgar Hoover pursued a lifelong vendetta. Written by Purvis's son Alston, this account is full of personal details unknown to other authors.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Having been a close, trusted friend of Melvin Purvis at the time of his death, I came to know, respect and understand this complicated man altough a great gap in our ages existed. Regarded as a daughter he never had? I don't know, but I do know that we shared a real bonding of mind and soul for which I remain grateful. For almost a half century, I have carried cherished memories of Melvin -- the man, rather than the famed agent. His aim was always beyond his reach, something we discussed many times. I learned things from this friendship that have strengthened me over the years. Some memories, as Wordsworth wrote, ' do both bless and burn.' I admit to not being an unbiased reviewer. Whether he sensed his own approaching mortality, I do not know. I can only share that the last year of his life had him voicing recollections some of which were pleasing for him to recall and others that were extremely painful. I came to understand his angst and desire to be remembered by his sons as a father who loved them and was very proud of their gifts and wanted them spared the griefs he had experienced. A loyal friend, a man who had drunk deeply from the cups of joy and pain, he is an unforgettable person. It is no trite expression to say that to know him was to love him. His sole surviving son has ably told his father's story. Alston's pain, love and pride stand out in this narrative. Flaws and/or errors exist but need no public mention as none would change the intent of the story nor its integrity. After all, he was not much more than a child when his father died that tragic February day. I hope writing this account has brought him some peace, a gift Melvin was always seeking. Too, that the grandchildren, especially Alston's son, will come to view his grandfather as the noble man he was. At Mel's death, like Hamlet, a noble heart did crack but angels did, I am sure, also bear him to absolute joy and peace. No vendetta can rob him or Alston of such a prize. The long awaited healing has begun. Renewed interest in the Melvin Purvis story is in great contrast to the disdain his oppressor conjures up as the brunt of late night TV jokes.