The Kidnap Years
The astonishing true history of the kidnapping open-season that terrorized AmericaThe Great Depression was a time of desperation in America--parents struggled to feed their children and unemployment was at a record high. Adding to the lawlessness of the decade, thugs with submachine guns and corrupt law-enforcement officers ran rampant. But amidst this panic, there was one sure-fire way to make money, one used by criminals and resourceful civilians alike: kidnapping.Jump into this forgotten history with Edgar Award-winning author David Stout as he explores the reports of missing people that inundated newspapers at the time. Learn the horrifying details of these abduction cases, from the methods used and the investigative processes to the personal histories of the culprits and victims. All of this culminates with the most infamous kidnapping in American history, the one that targeted an international celebrity and changed legislation forever: the Lindbergh kidnapping.The Kidnap Years is a gritty, visceral, thoughtfully reported page-turner that chronicles the sweep of abductions that afflicted all corners of the country as desperate people were pushed to do the unthinkable.

The Kidnap Years Details

TitleThe Kidnap Years
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 7th, 2020
PublisherSourcebooks
ISBN-139781492694793
Rating
GenreCrime, True Crime, Nonfiction, Mystery, North American Hi..., American History

The Kidnap Years Review

  • Valerity (Val)
    January 1, 1970
    This book takes you back to the 1930s and headline making kidnapping cases as it follows them from start to finish. The kidnappings became so common and got so out of hand that something had to be done. It took the death of the Lindbergh baby for a real change in the law to happen. I enjoyed this book, reading about the crime in that decade, though I was familiar with several of the cases already there was information that was new to me. The kidnappers were as different as their selected victims This book takes you back to the 1930s and headline making kidnapping cases as it follows them from start to finish. The kidnappings became so common and got so out of hand that something had to be done. It took the death of the Lindbergh baby for a real change in the law to happen. I enjoyed this book, reading about the crime in that decade, though I was familiar with several of the cases already there was information that was new to me. The kidnappers were as different as their selected victims were. I read a book on the kidnapping of one of the Busch beer clan awhile back that was very good.Many of the gangsters were into bootlegging, and with the end of Prohibition coming, they were worried about that loss of very good income. So they began branching out into kidnapping to create a new revenue stream. One of the aspects of kidnappings that I loathe is the ones who kidnap the victim and kill them right away and dump the body because they are too lazy to even bother with taking care of a hostage. What a nuisance, they figure. So, without even waiting to see if the family is going to pay or not, one side’s treated like they have done something wrong and assassinated an innocent party for no reason. Which, of course is not discovered until after the ransom money is paid and the kidnappers believe that they are safely away, and at times are. Advance electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author David Stout, and Sourcebooks.
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  • Vonda
    January 1, 1970
    A fascinating read that was very well researched. Probably one of the more intriguing true crime books I have read. It talks about the kidnapping epidemic in America during the Great Depression. There are a lot of kidnapping cases (bankers, doctors, oil tycoon, etc) discussed in this book, but it centers around the famous kidnapping case of the 20 month-old baby, Charles Lindbergh Jr., the son of the famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh of New Jersey. This case sparked public outrage and eventually A fascinating read that was very well researched. Probably one of the more intriguing true crime books I have read. It talks about the kidnapping epidemic in America during the Great Depression. There are a lot of kidnapping cases (bankers, doctors, oil tycoon, etc) discussed in this book, but it centers around the famous kidnapping case of the 20 month-old baby, Charles Lindbergh Jr., the son of the famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh of New Jersey. This case sparked public outrage and eventually led the Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act or Lindbergh Law in 1932, which made kidnapping across state lines a federal offense. It flowed quickly and I heard of other cases from the same period that I didn't realize happened as it started an epidemic of kidnappings.
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  • Kimba Tichenor
    January 1, 1970
    A fun read! Not the words one usually uses to describe a history, but this popular history reads like a novel, complete with gangsters, business magnates, and other colorful characters that the author brings to life. Each chapter tells the tale of a specific kidnapping that took place during the 1930s in the United States, when kidnapping reached unparalleled heights, as rank amateurs, hardened criminals, and gangsters tried their hand at this crime. The individual narratives of these criminal A fun read! Not the words one usually uses to describe a history, but this popular history reads like a novel, complete with gangsters, business magnates, and other colorful characters that the author brings to life. Each chapter tells the tale of a specific kidnapping that took place during the 1930s in the United States, when kidnapping reached unparalleled heights, as rank amateurs, hardened criminals, and gangsters tried their hand at this crime. The individual narratives of these criminal capers are held together by two interrelated threads that run throughout the book. The first thread is the story of the "crime of the century," that is, of course, the Lindbergh kidnapping. The author details not only the crime, but also how it contributed to a new federal law that allowed the FBI to intercede in kidnapping cases. The second thread concerns J. Edgar Hoover's desire to promote the FBI as the premiere national crime fighting organization. The reader is treated to tales of the agency's early bungling of kidnapping cases and of Hoover's savvy manipulation of the press to portray the FBI as the crime fighting agency that always catches the criminal.
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  • Kimba Tichenor
    January 1, 1970
    A fun read! Not the words one usually uses to describe a history, but this popular history reads like a novel, complete with gangsters, business magnates, and other colorful characters that the author brings to life. Each chapter tells the tale of a specific kidnapping that took place during the 1930s in the United States, when kidnapping reached unparalleled heights, as rank amateurs, hardened criminals, and gangsters tried their hand at this crime. The individual narratives of these criminal A fun read! Not the words one usually uses to describe a history, but this popular history reads like a novel, complete with gangsters, business magnates, and other colorful characters that the author brings to life. Each chapter tells the tale of a specific kidnapping that took place during the 1930s in the United States, when kidnapping reached unparalleled heights, as rank amateurs, hardened criminals, and gangsters tried their hand at this crime. The individual narratives of these criminal capers are held together by two interrelated threads that run throughout the book. The first thread is the story of the "crime of the century," that is, of course, the Lindbergh kidnapping. The author details not only the crime, but also how it contributed to a new federal law that allowed the FBI to intercede in kidnapping cases. The second thread concerns J. Edgar Hoover's desire to promote the FBI as the premiere national crime fighting organization. Then reader is treated to tales of the agency's early bungling of kidnapping cases and of Hoover's savvy manipulation of the press to portray the FBI as the crime fighting agency that always catches the criminal.
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  • Laura N.
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for giving me a copy of this book.This book really impressed me. I have always been interested in true crime, but books of this genre scare me a bit because some of them are so unprofessional and simplistic. But this book is just so good. It's a perfect mix of investigative work and writing style. It's very long, in my opinion, but this also shows how seriously this author takes his job.
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  • Donna Hines
    January 1, 1970
    The Great Depression Era you would think would be a lesson but it seems history repeats itself.The discussion in The Kidnap Years centered upon two main groupings: Lindbergh and Hoover and how the FBI was portrayed as the 'hero' in it all.Trying times lead to desperation and societal instabilities, inequalities, corruption, and the like leads to unrest and anger with one common evil-MONEY! Just ask the current administration. It's not unlike what we have today with the advancements of corporate The Great Depression Era you would think would be a lesson but it seems history repeats itself.The discussion in The Kidnap Years centered upon two main groupings: Lindbergh and Hoover and how the FBI was portrayed as the 'hero' in it all.Trying times lead to desperation and societal instabilities, inequalities, corruption, and the like leads to unrest and anger with one common evil-MONEY! Just ask the current administration. It's not unlike what we have today with the advancements of corporate greed for blood on their hands from Corona deaths through political channels that are severed and destroyed.The bridges that burn continue to burn and those in the wake suffer the greatest damage and it's not just collateral that we speak.Having a background and Major in Criminal Justice I've found the historical aspect of these most alarming cases interesting yet ponder the effects of some well known conspiracy theories and frame jobs especially with the Lindbergh's baby who was accidentally killed or so they say in the kidnapping leaving many to wonder if Bruno was framed. I have found a few that might suggest this certainty with this article link of the more famous ones: https://www.thoughtco.com/most-notori...All in all this was a great read with much train of thought to have far we've come and how the unraveling of the greatest organization utilized to combat crime is under attack from within its own walls on many fronts.It makes you wonder about progression and the measures used to calculate them all. What I see today is disheartening and the level of complete ignorance, bias, egotism, and incompetence with corporations, lobbyists, and politicians with their greedy hands in every pot it's a no wonder anything has been accomplished.Hopefully desperation in trying times doesn't result in what we've read in this wonderful new novel, because hope is all we have left to comfort ourselves. Stay safe!
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  • Caidyn (BW Reviews; he/him/his)
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!I wanted to like this book more. I didn't even know that there was a kidnapping epidemic, but, when I think about it more, there definitely was. The 1930s were huge on kidnapping for whatever reason. And, I say "whatever reason" because I didn't think that Stout really showed why this went on. He did a good job of giving a brief overview on cases, but he didn't delve into causality or different factors. He didn't even really I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review!I wanted to like this book more. I didn't even know that there was a kidnapping epidemic, but, when I think about it more, there definitely was. The 1930s were huge on kidnapping for whatever reason. And, I say "whatever reason" because I didn't think that Stout really showed why this went on. He did a good job of giving a brief overview on cases, but he didn't delve into causality or different factors. He didn't even really separate the cases out.The book is largely chronological. It stays in a steady line and jumps around a little, but not much. Each chapter is about a different kidnapping, really. Some kidnappings go over multiple chapters because it took years to find out what happened or for the trial to start. The case that goes over the whole book is the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, which was the biggest one. There was also the kidnapping of Grace Budd that went on for a while, who was one of the victims of the serial killer, Albert Fish.I wish that this book maybe grouped the types of kidnappings together -- kidnapping an adult or a doctor is very different than kidnapping a child -- and was clearer about things. In the end, all the cases blended together because there were so many and none of them stood out. Even when we revisited cases in the book that took years to solve, I couldn't remember a detail about anything because there were just so many that sounded almost exactly alike.Overall, good, but not a true crime book I would really want on my shelf.
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  • thereadingowlvina (Elvina Ulrich)
    January 1, 1970
    Motherhood is wonderful and it comes with so many challenges, struggles and fears, and my biggest fear or paranoia is my child being kidnapped, or taken away. I guess that's why kidnapping cases terrifies me yet fascinates me at the same time. It's horrifying to learn news about child abduction yet I want to know how they were taken away, so I can better protect my children and be more vigilant around people. So, naturally, this book - The Kidnap Years - caught my attention and I knew I had to Motherhood is wonderful and it comes with so many challenges, struggles and fears, and my biggest fear or paranoia is my child being kidnapped, or taken away. I guess that's why kidnapping cases terrifies me yet fascinates me at the same time. It's horrifying to learn news about child abduction yet I want to know how they were taken away, so I can better protect my children and be more vigilant around people. So, naturally, this book - The Kidnap Years - caught my attention and I knew I had to read it! This is one heck of an amazing read! Just like the title, it talks about the kidnapping epidemic in America during the Great Depression. There are a lot of kidnapping cases (bankers, doctors, oil tycoon, etc) discussed in this book, but it centers around the famous kidnapping case of the 20 month-old baby, Charles Lindbergh Jr., the son of the famous aviator, Charles Lindbergh of New Jersey. This case sparked public outrage and eventually led the Congress to pass the Federal Kidnapping Act or Lindbergh Law in 1932, which made kidnapping across state lines a federal offense. There are also crime stories of bootleggers, gangsters (The Barkers Brothers, Machine Gun Kelly, Charles "Pretty Boy" Floyd, etc), which I find absolutely intriguing as they are all somehow connected in one way or another. And of course, there was corruption within the police department itself with the "layover agreement". Police cover ups and the criminal conspiracy of the Union Station Massacre or Kansas City Massacre, where FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had a pivotal role, was intriguing! This book is replete with interesting information and it is really well-researched. I enjoyed it immensely! It is not a book to be read in one sitting but rather to be savoured slowly. Although it is jam-packed with facts, the writing is engaging and easy to read. I highly recommend this book to true crime or history aficionados. "… the judge said kidnapping was a crime that "strikes a blow at the tenderest and most sacred affections of human blood" and was becoming all too common." Pub. Date: 7 April, 2020***I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from SOURCEBOOKS (non-fiction) through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All views expressed in this review are my own and was not influenced by the author, publisher or any third party.***
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  • Tammy Buchli
    January 1, 1970
    Fascinating true crime book. Although I've read fairly extensively about the Lindbergh kidnapping and some of the other cases that were discussed in this book, many of them were new to me and all the more interesting for that. In this very readable book, Stout leans toward creative nonfiction, relying a good deal on imagined conversations and thoughts, so if that is something that bothers you in a non-fiction book, you should probably be wary of this one. Personally, I don't mind it in an Fascinating true crime book. Although I've read fairly extensively about the Lindbergh kidnapping and some of the other cases that were discussed in this book, many of them were new to me and all the more interesting for that. In this very readable book, Stout leans toward creative nonfiction, relying a good deal on imagined conversations and thoughts, so if that is something that bothers you in a non-fiction book, you should probably be wary of this one. Personally, I don't mind it in an otherwise well researched book -- which this was -- so it didn't bother me and I didn't grade the book down for it. If I had a criticism it would be that Stout rambles a little. It was a very enjoyable book but it would have been even better if it had been tightened up by a few pages. Nonetheless, I certainly recommend it to other fans of true crime, especially those who don't mind a little novelization in their non-fiction.Thanks to NetGalley for providing an ARC copy for my review.
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  • Annie
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for an advance copy of the book! On one hand, there was a lot of history in this book that I wasnt aware of and found deeply interesting. On the other, the biggest issue I had was that a few of the stories got chopped up across the whole book instead of being resolved within the same section(s) of the book, so I sometimes had a hard time following what the story was. Overall I found the book interesting and informative, though the style wasnt always one I Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks for an advance copy of the book! On one hand, there was a lot of history in this book that I wasn’t aware of and found deeply interesting. On the other, the biggest issue I had was that a few of the stories got chopped up across the whole book instead of being resolved within the same section(s) of the book, so I sometimes had a hard time following what the story was. Overall I found the book interesting and informative, though the style wasn’t always one I enjoyed.
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  • Rob
    January 1, 1970
    A bit dry but still interesting. I'm fascinated by these sprees of crimes and beliefs that just sweep over a nation and seem so bizarre to us now. This is a decent book to fill out that genre.
  • Nicola Stevenson
    January 1, 1970
    It's not often that you can say that a book about kidnapping is an entertaining read, but this book is. I found this to be well researched & well written. The book has stories about many kidnappings but mainly focuses on the Lindbergh kidnapping, and references the repercussions of this in kidnappings that happen after. I liked how the author referred back to previous cases, and also described the progress of the Lindbergh case over months while other kidnappings had occurred. Well worth a It's not often that you can say that a book about kidnapping is an entertaining read, but this book is. I found this to be well researched & well written. The book has stories about many kidnappings but mainly focuses on the Lindbergh kidnapping, and references the repercussions of this in kidnappings that happen after. I liked how the author referred back to previous cases, and also described the progress of the Lindbergh case over months while other kidnappings had occurred. Well worth a read if you are interested in this era of history. Thanks to Sourcebooks (non-fiction) & NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Kristine
    January 1, 1970
    The Kidnap Years by David Stout is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early March.A whole trove of kidnapping cases during the 1930s, each taking a different route to infamy and riches than bank robberies - some cases coming to a grisly effective end, while other look at events from the kidnapees perspective. It's really detailed and soundly personal, though, sometimes, it takes the voice of a tattletale newspaper when describing whether the victims survive or not and why, the connections The Kidnap Years by David Stout is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in early March.A whole trove of kidnapping cases during the 1930s, each taking a different route to infamy and riches than bank robberies - some cases coming to a grisly effective end, while other look at events from the kidnapee’s perspective. It's really detailed and soundly personal, though, sometimes, it takes the voice of a tattletale newspaper when describing whether the victims survive or not and why, the connections between each case, how children and adults are targeted and lured away, the rare perspective of kidnappers, and the steady & careful investigation during the case of Lindbergh baby.
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  • Cristie Underwood
    January 1, 1970
    This book was fascinating, as I had no idea that the Depression years were also known as the Kidnap Years. The author wrote such a well-researched and interesting read. I loved how it included gangsters, wealthy business owners, and other interesting personalities. The variety of "characters" in this book made this read like a novel versus a history book. I learned a lot and enjoyed every second reading this.
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  • Bethany Votaw (Giesch)
    January 1, 1970
    I was given an arc in return for my honest opinion. This book was exprésele well organized and thought out, packed with information and a grilling narrative. I found it to have a slow start, and at times the long winded exposition of history and events pulled me from the story, but overall, very well done.
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  • Tayler Hill
    January 1, 1970
    I dont normally read non fiction, but I loved this one. The pacing was well done, and the story was captivating. I like how all the cases were interwoven. I would give it 4.5 stars. I don’t normally read non fiction, but I loved this one. The pacing was well done, and the story was captivating. I like how all the cases were interwoven. I would give it 4.5 stars.
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  • J Earl
    January 1, 1970
    The Kidnap Years: The Astonishing True History of the Forgotten Kidnapping Epidemic That Shook Depression-Era America by David Stout is a long-overdue account of the rash of kidnappings that took place during the depression. While the fact of the widespread nature of kidnapping has long been known there haven't been very many accounts that looked at the period as a whole.In some ways, this book can be read in one of two ways depending on how you view the book and what your interest is. One way The Kidnap Years: The Astonishing True History of the Forgotten Kidnapping Epidemic That Shook Depression-Era America by David Stout is a long-overdue account of the rash of kidnappings that took place during the depression. While the fact of the widespread nature of kidnapping has long been known there haven't been very many accounts that looked at the period as a whole.In some ways, this book can be read in one of two ways depending on how you view the book and what your interest is. One way is based on the title, it is a history. As such, it is one story though admittedly comprising many stories (such is the nature of history). Read this way the separate accounts become less important than the similarities and differences between them, which point to possible explanations for this particular crime becoming so widespread. this story includes the rise of the FBI as well as the standardization of law around the act of kidnapping. This is a fascinating history and if this is your primary interest, you will be satisfied.The other way to read it is almost like reading a collection of short stories that are linked but separate. Each chapter is about a case and there is some reference to cases before and after, as well as the book length thread of the Lindbergh kidnapping. Read in this way the book is also quite satisfying though, because the intent is as a history, it will appear as though you have to jump around since each chapter was read as if a complete entity. That said, it is still effective as a collection of case histories.My calling them case histories is unfair, since when one thinks of a case history one usually thinks of dry and often boring prose. The writing here tries to take the reader into each household affected, into the minds of the victims (if possible), the criminals, and the family members. So this is not just case histories but short nonfiction stories.I recommend this to fans of true crime, historians of crime and criminology, and readers who enjoy learning and reading about periods not so distant in time but seemingly far distant because of the technological advancements.Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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  • CR
    January 1, 1970
    This book feels like it was throughly researched to the nines. I have never read anything about the 1930's Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Case which was stated as being the crime of the century. I think those who are true crime fanatics will enjoy this one. For me who has kids this was very scary. It was chilling and and fascinating all at once.
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  • Jennifer M.
    January 1, 1970
    The Kidnap Year is a thorough review and synopsis of back when kidnapping (20s-50s) was a big thing. Believe it or not, it wasn't that many years ago when kidnapping wasn't even against the law - particularly for children. It's several stories of true crime and how it was essentially a time in America when kidnapping and holding a ransom was like "the" thing to do. It's fascinating and I liked it, even if the material is disturbingThe Kidnap Years publishes 4.7.2020.4/5 Stars
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  • Angela Williamson
    January 1, 1970
    This book is a history of a rash of kidnappings in the early 20th century, some, like the Lindbergh kidnapping you have heard about. So many others you have not. During the Great Depression, people desperate to take care of their families turned to desperate measures. Kidnapping became a major resource not just for criminals and the Mob but for your everyday citizens as well. David Stout's account of this era shares the laws that came about, how the FBI became involved and how investigators This book is a history of a rash of kidnappings in the early 20th century, some, like the Lindbergh kidnapping you have heard about. So many others you have not. During the Great Depression, people desperate to take care of their families turned to desperate measures. Kidnapping became a major resource not just for criminals and the Mob but for your everyday citizens as well. David Stout's account of this era shares the laws that came about, how the FBI became involved and how investigators solved these kidnappings without DNA and other modern investigative tools.I found this book to be well researched and very well written. The accounts of the kidnappers, the victims and their families read more like a novel then history. Thank you to NetGalley, Sourcebooks and David Stout for a copy of The Kidnap Years in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Miss R
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS (non-fiction) for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.'The Kidnap Years' is quite simply one of the best true-crime books I have ever read. Compelling, erudite and utterly absorbing are just a few superlatives to describe this book. Stout, with the perfectly-calibrated prose of a seasoned newsman, shines a probing light on the hitherto little-known phenomenon of Depression-era kidnapping. Of, course we all know the details of the Lindberg baby kidnapping, Thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS (non-fiction) for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.'The Kidnap Years' is quite simply one of the best true-crime books I have ever read. Compelling, erudite and utterly absorbing are just a few superlatives to describe this book. Stout, with the perfectly-calibrated prose of a seasoned newsman, shines a probing light on the hitherto little-known phenomenon of Depression-era kidnapping. Of, course we all know the details of the Lindberg baby kidnapping, but what is little understood is the broader context of the crime of kidnapping for financial gain itself. Here Stout paints a vivid picture of unrestrained panic and impotent law-enforcement agencies powerless to prevent such opportunist crimes, crimes themselves that were inseparable from the social and political context of 1920s and 1930s Depression-Era America. Whilst the crimes themselves are fascinating and meticulously researched by Stout, the author also illustrates how the kidnapping craze fitted into a broader narrative about the history of law-enforcement agencies in the US. Most notably this included the creation of the FBI and the birth of cultural stereotypes of the omnipotent all-powerful 'G-men'. As a true-crime book of both style and substance, David Stout really delivers. The Kidnap Years' is quite simply a triumph - move over 'The Untouchables' and pick up this unputdownable gem of the true-crime.
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  • Jamie Trauth
    January 1, 1970
    This is my first True Crime of the year. I grabbed it because of the time period. Most of us are familiar with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in 1932, and the financial motivations of kidnapping Charles Lindberghs 20 month old son. However, this book paints the bigger picture. That, although we know of one, there wereMany. We didnt have Facebook or other forms of broadcasting that were instantaneous. Things were lesser known, and because of that more apt to continue. Although I found the writing This is my first True Crime of the year. I grabbed it because of the time period. Most of us are familiar with the Lindbergh baby kidnapping in 1932, and the financial motivations of kidnapping Charles Lindbergh’s 20 month old son. However, this book paints the bigger picture. That, although we know of one, there wereMany. We didn’t have Facebook or other forms of broadcasting that were instantaneous. Things were lesser known, and because of that more apt to continue. Although I found the writing a bit amateur, I very much enjoyed the newspaper-esque formatting and the general research that motivated the author to touch on a topic that so many of us know so little about. Thank you Netgalley and the publisher forproviding me with a copy in exchange for my honest feedback.
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  • Mhughessc
    January 1, 1970
    "The Kidnap Years" is about the many kidnappings that took place during the Great Depression. This book is very informative, and contains accounts of the "kidnapping epidemic" that very few Americans even know about. Each chapter contained a separate account. It was a hard book to read, due to the detailed kidnapping stories.Thanks to NetGalley for the ARC. All opinions are my own.
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    Wow just wow! This book is great! Like it reads more like a novel but I was intrigued throughout thw whole book! This is a true crime novel and it shows how the police couldn't stop people from kidnapping and the struggle it was. Definitely gets the reader hooked from page 1. Definitely recommend!
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  • Rina (whatsrinareading)
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!"The Kidnap Years" by David Stout is truly a fascinating read. I didn't know about the kidnapping epidemic that went on during the 1930s and terrorized America, but I felt like the book failed to explain why that happened and why it stopped. This is basically a collection of (very) short stories about kidnappings that occurred during that time, but it jumps from a case to another and First of all, thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!"The Kidnap Years" by David Stout is truly a fascinating read. I didn't know about the kidnapping epidemic that went on during the 1930s and terrorized America, but I felt like the book failed to explain why that happened and why it stopped. This is basically a collection of (very) short stories about kidnappings that occurred during that time, but it jumps from a case to another and then jumps back again to the previous case in a way that I found utterly confusing.The book focused on too many cases when it would have benefitted from choosing half of them and going deeper into those stories. To be honest, I finished the book two hours ago, and I can't remember anything meaningful because I had too much info to deal with, and not even half of them mattered or helped me "feel" more towards a case. Any case, actually.Don't get me wrong; I can see the book was thoroughly researched, but having been thrown at all these pieces of information, made me lose interest pretty soon. Information after information after information and the book never manages to anchor me to a single page or a single human being. Do you want to know what is missing? Depth. It's a great history book that I will use for references, but other than that, I don't know if someone who is not into true crimes might enjoy a book that is missing a bit of a soul.
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  • Kristi Schmitz
    January 1, 1970
    The amount of research and knowledge that went into the writing of this book is truly astounding and David Stout deserves ALL of the accolades this book is receiving. As someone who truly loves the true crime genre, this book stood out for its originality and for the way that Stout so masterfully blended the historical context with the crimes themselves-coming out of the depression and into a string of unprecedented kidnappings and everything that came along with it. I loved that so many crimes The amount of research and knowledge that went into the writing of this book is truly astounding and David Stout deserves ALL of the accolades this book is receiving. As someone who truly loves the true crime genre, this book stood out for its originality and for the way that Stout so masterfully blended the historical context with the crimes themselves-coming out of the depression and into a string of unprecedented kidnappings and everything that came along with it. I loved that so many crimes were detailed (but not overly so) so that I was able to get a good grasp of what was going on at that time in America. If you are a fan of true crime, this book will shoot right to the top of your favorites list, I promise! It was so well-written, I was sad when it was over. Bravo, David Stout, you are such an extraordinary writer!5 out of 5 stars for The Kidnap Year by David Stout. A HUGE thanks to the author, SOURCEBOOKS, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this phenomenal book. All opinions are completely my own.
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  • Gary
    January 1, 1970
    Interesting Vignettes, But...Interesting kidnapping vignettes involving famous as well as infamous individuals during the 1930s. The Lindbergh kidnapping is covered with nothing new reported. Stout spends a great deal of time trashing the FBI and J Edgar Hoover with their shortcomings highlighted across the various kidnapping cases with again nothing new or revelatory both about the FBI or Hoover. The writing, at times, is uneven and a bit self-serving and pandering to his audience to conjure up Interesting Vignettes, But...Interesting kidnapping vignettes involving famous as well as infamous individuals during the 1930s. The Lindbergh kidnapping is covered with nothing new reported. Stout spends a great deal of time trashing the FBI and J Edgar Hoover with their shortcomings highlighted across the various kidnapping cases with again nothing new or revelatory both about the FBI or Hoover. The writing, at times, is uneven and a bit self-serving and pandering to his audience to conjure up suspense and drama which I can only liken to the poorly reported episodes of the television investigative series 48 Hours and Dateline.
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  • Darlene
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book from Netgalley for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.Edgar award winning author explores the reports of a plethora of kidnappings during the Depression era. Newspapers were inundated with abduction articles. Kansas City and St. Louis were especially hit with a series of kidnappings. This book investigates the phenomena as it discusses the methods, culprits, victimology, and investigative process. What pushes people to do the unthinkable? The Lindbergh case is I received this book from Netgalley for review and all thoughts and opinions are my own.Edgar award winning author explores the reports of a plethora of kidnappings during the Depression era. Newspapers were inundated with abduction articles. Kansas City and St. Louis were especially hit with a series of kidnappings. This book investigates the phenomena as it discusses the methods, culprits, victimology, and investigative process. What pushes people to do the unthinkable? The Lindbergh case is discussed over and over again. The beginnings of the F.B.I. and Hoovers involvement in the cases is also discussed.Interesting if not a little repetitive at times. Good for a crime aficionado.
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  • Sarah - All The Book Blog Names Are Taken
    January 1, 1970
    I received a free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. You can find that full review on my blog: https://allthebookblognamesaretaken.b...
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