"The fantastic story of George Remus makes the rest of the 'Roaring Twenties' look like the 'Boring Twenties' in comparison. It's all here: murder, mayhem—and high-priced hootch."—David Pietrusza, author of 1920: The Year of the Six Presidents
"An aggressive, ambitious foray into the brutal life and times of George Remus, written in lucid, hard-hitting, tight prose. . . ."—Phillip Sipiora, editor of Mind of an Outlaw: Selected Essays of Norman Mailer
On the 100th anniversary of The Volstead Act comes the deeply researched, epic, definitive story of George Remus, the man who cracked the Prohibition system, turned it on its ear, became one of the world's richest criminal masterminds, and inspired The Great Gatsby.
In October 1919, Prohibition was given teeth. But the law didn't stop George Remus from amassing a $200 million fortune (a few billion 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 "The 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 Bourbon Empire. Remus murdered his wife in cold blood and claimed a condition he invented--temporary maniacal insanity--with shocking success.
Love, murder, mountains of cash, bribery, political intrigue, rivers of bourbon, and a grand spectacle like few before it, the tale of George Remus provides readers with a lens into the dark heart of Prohibition's "Bourbon Trail."