Beyond the Book: Background information when reading American Lightning

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

American Lightning

Terror, Mystery, the Birth of Hollywood, and the Crime of the Century

by Howard Blum

American Lightning
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 352 pages
    Oct 2009, 352 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Jamie Kuhns

Buy This Book

About this Book

Beyond the Book

"Crimes of the Century"
Tacking down a precise date for when the term "Crime of the Century" was first utilized is not easy, but most scholars would attach the name of Jack the Ripper to the creation of that notorious slogan. The killing spree in 1888 that resulted in the deaths of at least five accountable victims and possibly ten more was never solved, but the fear it provoked in England, and across the world for that matter, is legendary.

In the United States, the list of highly publicized crimes is no less spectacular. Arguably, at the top of list is the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby in 1932. Yet, some 22 years earlier, Los Angeles newspaper headlines broadcast the shocking horror that Blum recaptures in American Lightning.

The Los Angeles Times journalists who referred to the explosion at their newspaper's headquarters as "the crime of the century" might have been inspired by the 1889 publication of The Crime of the Century by Henry Hunt. This 576-...

Members Only

BookBrowse's reviews and backstories are a members-only benefit. Full information is available on books for a limited time when they are featured as "Editor's Choices" - but that time has now elapsed for this book.

Join Today

Member Login

Library Patrons

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Comet Seekers
    by Helen Sedgwick

    A magical, intoxicating debut novel, both intimate and epic.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.