I had high hopes for Boardwalk Empire when the show first arrived, but got alarmed after I realized there was zero attempt to maintain historical accuracy. After the shark jumped ten times, I began losing my passion for the show, so I was not shocked by the fizzle-out ending.
If they had only told the real story of Nucky Johnson and his epic feud with William Randolph Hearst, but I guess that was too close to the real oligarchy. Nucky was not rubbed-out on the boardwalk, but jailed for tax evasion, the same fate that brought down his buddy Al Capone. After four years in jail, he returned to a much downsized Atlantic City, which had been crushed by the 1929 stock market crash. Although production qualities and acting remained peerless on this show, the script was mostly concerned with creative staging of moments of extreme violence. But meaningless violence is on the rise everywhere these days.
I was especially annoyed how they transformed Harlem numbers king Casper Holstein (left) into a completely heartless dope peddler. In fact, Holstein was the genius who figured out how to engineer a gambling racket based off the daily stock market tally and was a great supporter of charities and known as the black Andrew Carnegie.
Boardwalk Empire pretended to tell the story of the birth of organized crime, but they distorted the story beyond recognition. Lucky Luciano is mostly known as the first gangster who made a deal with an intelligence agency. He did not invent the concept of a Sicilian “Commission of Peace.” According to Joseph Bonanno, who was there at the beginning with Luciano, the idea of this commission predated Bonanno’s arrival in the United States (1908). National conventions had been held infrequently over the decades and the network was not uncovered by law enforcement until the 1950s, but the concept had been floated after a war broke out between two Italian families in New Orleans over rights to unload banana boats owned by Italian shipping lines, resulting in a lot of bad publicity and crackdowns against Italian-Americans nationally. The society was organized similar to the many Masonic secret societies, only with one grade instead of the usual three. The important part of these secret societies is promising to keep the secrets or give the society permission to snuff out your life. These vows proved effective as the first turncoats from inside would not emerge until the 1960s.