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 Post subject: Bryan Burrough Q&A #1
PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:21 am 
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Welcome to the Q&A with Bryan Burrough, author of Public Enemies. :welcome:

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We are all so very fortunate that Bryan has agreed to participate in this. And I’m sure you will all join me in a great big :thanks!: to Mr. Burrough. :bounce:

We will post one question & its answer each day. Enjoy and feel free to comment.....


ONBC: What sparked your interest in the history of the FBI and the story of the War on Crime and led you to decide to write the book?

Bryan Burrough: It was actually a Biography documentary on Ma Barker. I knew about Bonnie and Clyde from boyhood and, of course, the movie. When I saw the Barker piece, I wondered when she was at large re: Bonnie and Clyde. A quick Google showed the same dates. Dillinger? Same dates. Same with Machine Gun Kelly, Pretty Boy Floyd and Baby Face Nelson. That was news to me and, I suspected, to a lot of other people. But it was the discovery that all these FBI case files were now available that really iced for me. That meant an author could tell all these stories in a new, more accurate way.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:26 pm 
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I wholeheartedly add my :thanks: to Mr. Burroughs for agreeing to the Q&A session. :welcome: It's a fascinating period in time.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Good question ~ interesting answer! Finding out that so many gangsters, with their mythic names and reputations, all lived and operated at the same time was possibly the first of many surprises for Mr. Burrough. During the course of reading the files and doing his exhaustive research I imagine he discovered even more surprising revelations. He did a wonderful job in the book of separating fact from fiction.
Thanks! :cool:



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:47 pm 
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I am so excited to see the Q&A session begin! :bounce: I have really been looking forward to this. We are definitely fortunate Mr Burrough has consented to take part in our discussion!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:53 pm 
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Many, many thanks to Mr. Burrough, Liz and DITHOT for making this Q & A Session possible.

Let the questions begin !!!! :disco:



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 6:58 pm 
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Excellent, great start. The Q & A starting on the same day as filming for the movie. Thanks L and N and of course BB. Looking forward to it.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:02 pm 
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My first time on following a Q&A ... Great first question. I thought I was up on my crime history, but have to admit, I was amazed to find all these characters lived in the same time period, but then maybe they represent the criminal class of their times.

I am thrilled to be able to follow this Q&A. Thanks to Mr. Burrough, Liz and DeepintheHeartofTexas...this is fun !

PS ... Can I just mention I am a huge fan of Mr. Burroughs "Barbarians at the Gate" :cool: :blush:



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:05 pm 
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I love hearing that it was one of those wonderful "Hmmmm? I wonder. . . " moments that started you off on your wild ride, Mr. Burrough. Both the fact that all these gangs were active at the same time and that the time period was so relatively short were surprises to me. Thank you for a fascinating book and for sharing your thoughts with us.

Great timing on the start of the Q&A, Liz and DITHOT, as KYWoman pointed out. Thanks again to both of you and to Mr. Burrough.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:20 pm 
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It must have been tremendously satisfying to have pulled all of those disparate threads together. A lengthy task, too, but obviously a labour of love!



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:54 pm 
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As I thought about what Mr Burrough said, about finding out all these "gangs" operated in the same brief time period, it made me understand why PE is ultimately meant to be the story of the FBI's early beginning. We have wondered during the discussion how much of this war on crime was Hoover's scheme to build the bureau he wanted. If one were to look at a different period of time, for names that weren't so widely publicized by the FBI, perhaps there would be other stories clustered in another time frame ......Good question, good answer!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:28 pm 
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Thanks to Mr Burrough for taking the time to answer questions for us. When I first read your query about the timeline of these famous Public Enemies, I saw how that would boost your interest. The other reason you mentioned about the releasing of the FBI files was the icing on the cake. I thought using the FBI files was one of the most fascinating parts of the book and really the most revealing. The fact that all these people who had become almost folklore fit into the same time frame in the the FBI's infancy was like a story begging to be told. Thanks for telling it so well.



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 11:45 pm 
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It's interesting that Ma Barker, the non-criminal in the group, sparked Mr. Burrough's interest. I did not realize that all these famous criminals operated in the same time frame until I read PE.
Thank you for participating in this Q&A, Mr. Burrough, and thanks Liz and DITHOT for arranging it.



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 12:32 am 
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I feel so thrilled and honored to have Mr. Burrough with us for the Q&A. :heart:
What wonderful timing. :cool:
Deep thanks to Liz and DITHOT and Mr. Burrough for this Session. :bouquet:
What a fitting time to start Q& A session as well.
Same day as PE First “Shooting” Day.
It is very appropriate.
The amount of research is astonishing and I bet grueling. I applaud your efforts.

As I am reading PE, I find myself looking to the front of the book at the maps, often and I get a better feel for everything that is going on. There is so much detail and accounts I am truly involved with each day.


I am so glad that he had an interest so that we could hear and read about the new FBI files to make things more accurate. There is more here than meets the Eye.

It really amazes me that these gangs where so close together in this time line.

The FBI had to grow up fast and these gangs served up many different lessons for them. Some of these FBI Agents ,“G-Men” were way out in left field. I can’t imagine agents (now a days) not pursuing a criminal like they did not do in the 1930’s. It is truly an eye opener to me.

Thanks for starting this session I can’t wait to hear more.
:cool:



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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:25 am 
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Timing is everything. :-O

Good points, one and all.



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You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:58 am 
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Thanks to ONBC for making this great Q and A a possibility.

And a Thank You to Mr. Burrough for agreeing to take our questions.

It is such an exciting event for The Zone and I look forward to reading everyone's questions and the author's answers.

:thanks!:



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