GANGSTER. The bosses of Chicago

A book by Robert Nippoldt
published by Gerstenberg Verlag 2005, 144 pages, 35 x 23 cm, illustrated in color, printed linen, hard cover, poster
ISBN: 978-3-8067-2941-2
– out of print –

Gangster provides insight into the Chicago of the Roaring Twenties and tells of a bustling, booming city and the life-hungry people who enjoy their freedom there in the dawning new age after the Great War. Above all, it shows the shady scene that develops in the shadow of the splendor: With the introduction of Prohibition, gangs of gangsters form, whose extremely tolerable business is alcohol smuggling. Fraud, extortion and cold-blooded murders are the order of the day.

The anecdote-rich stories about the gangster bosses, corrupt politicians and bribed police officers complement each other to form a continuous narrative, the crowning glory of which is the description of the rise and fall of the most powerful and probably most famous representative of his guild: Al Capone. He, the boss of bosses, led his life according to the motto: "You can accomplish more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone."

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  • Red Dot Design Award, 2005, Essen
  • Award from the German Designer Club, 2004, Frankfurt
  • Book Art Foundation, Shortlist, 2005, Frankfurt

Press comments

"With just a few strokes, Robert Nippoldt revives the world of gangsters."
– ZDF Aspekte, Luzia Braun, Mainz watch video

"A wonderful panorama of the gangster milieu of the book has been so beautiful and so bloody for a long time."
– NDR TV, Kulturjournal, Dr. Paul Kersten, Hamburg watch video

"An original book, great research, a pleasure to read - congratulations!"
– 3Sat Bookmark, Helmut Markwort, Mainz

"Robert Nippoldt's face, distorted by joyful effort, his gaze incessantly shifting back and forth between his canvas and the portrayed, was the only truly uplifting experience at this Frankfurt Book Fair - a utopia of the freedom of artistic creation."
– Critical Edition, Bonn

"As lovingly as a butterfly collector, Robert Nippoldt has compiled the biographies of 33 rogues."
– Stern, Hamburg

"A book like we love it - exciting content, dreamlike illustrations, clear yet fresh layout."
– Novum, Design Magazine, Munich

"The most famous gangster bosses in the wildest city in the world. A young German graphic artist has drawn the complete killer compendium from Al Capone's time in ink."
– Books, Magazine, Kiel

"Rough gangsters, fine line. An original and lovingly appointed book that does justice to its subject."
– Kieler Nachrichten, Kiel

"Beautiful are the tables about size, murders and age, which rarely rose above 30: verbrechen is therefore not worth it, or only to be appreciated so lovingly later."
– Monopol, Magazine, Berlin

"Nippoldt draws the bosses, Johnny Torrio, Dion O'Banion, Al Capone. In the white surfaces of the faces, cruelty and laconicness can be seen, fatalism and greed."
– Die WELT, Berlin

"A wonderfully illustrated foray into the hoodlum milieu of the 1920s."
– Focus, Munich

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"You can accomplish more with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone."

– Al Capone