• The Bourbon King

  • The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition's Evil Genius
  • By: Bob Batchelor
  • Narrated by: Joe Barrett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 8 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

October 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the Volstead Act, which put the enforcement teeth into Prohibition. But the law didn't stop George Remus from cornering the boozy, illegal liquor marketplace and amassing a fortune that eclipsed $200 million (the equivalent of $4.75 billion today). As eminent documentarian Ken Burns proclaimed, "Remus was to bootlegging what Rockefeller was to oil."

Author Bob Batchelor has unearthed a treasure trove of untapped historical archives to cover the life, times, and crimes of the man who ran the largest bootlegging operation in America - larger and more powerful than that of Al Capone - and a man who was considered one of the best criminal defense lawyers of his era. Love, murder, mountains of cash, bribery, political intrigue, rivers of bourbon, and a grand spectacle like few before it, the tale of George Remus transcends the era and provides listeners with a lens into the dark heart of Prohibition's "Bourbon Trail," the thirst of the American people, and their fascination with crime.

©2019 Bob Batchelor (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about The Bourbon King

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

So let me start by saying that George Remus is a fascinating figure. I just feel like this book did not do a good job of explaining how and why he became King of the Bootleggers. Far too much time was spent on his 2nd marriage generally, and on the murder trial specifically. It was as if the book just jumped over the entire story of his transition form Chicago lawyer to Bourbon King. In a chapter or two, it was just explained that he bought up a lot of bourbon, and then he ran his empire. Too little time was spent on the how and why of his decision to pursue that endeavor. The book seemed too interested in other, far less important aspects of Remus's life. Definitely disappointed with this one.

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If I could give it SIX stars I would!

If this were a novel I would roll my eyes that any story could be so outrageous. But it’s not a novel and everything is true, the people are real and the story is far stranger than fiction! Plus I learned so much about the time period of Prohibition that my grandparents lived through, that I never thought about! The narrator did a good job with Remus’s German accent when he quoted him, and was pleasant to listen to. If you love salacious historical details, you’ll love this book!!

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Great story

Loved the story, learning more about the character and historical events in Cincinnati from the bootlegging days.
This was one of the first audible books that I listened to, and I would say that it was a little longer than it needed to be, could have been more to the point in some areas. This was often because the author would go into great detail about certain things mid story, then have to circle back to the story after going down a rabbit hole on something. For someone that loves those kind of things, this could be considered a good thing though.

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facinating

Interesting how The Bourbon King weaves American history and human behavior through this tragic story.

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Fascinating character

This book, and The Ghosts of Eden Park, have given this man his just recognition, albeit for being notorious. The various lives of being a lawyer, a bootlegger, raging narcissist and jilted husband, makes for a really interesting story. Glenn Fleshler gave an impressive performance on Boardwalk Empire, but insofar as it was a supporting character, didn't nearly scratch the surface of the man and all his idiosyncrasies, peculiarities and all-around nuttiness. Bombastic at times, and pathetic at others. I can't help but view him as a prohibition era Tony Soprano. This is a case, with Fleshler's work as guide, where I think a screen portrayal, on film or TV, may serve to augment this full story tremendously.