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Home > Author > Warren Berger
Warren Berger

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Member Since: Aug, 2010

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  Warren Berger

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The Purple Gang ruled the river, along with the rest of Detroit. Here is their story.

Background Information

After many years writing feature articles for national publications such as The New York Times, The L.A. Times, and Wired, as well as several nonfiction books for Penguin, Random House, and other publishers, I plunged into writing my first novel. I hope it's as fun to read as it was to write.

The idea for THE PURPLES came out of a long-ago family connection to the infamous Purple Gang, a wild group of Jewish rumrunners who ruled Detroit during Prohibition. (My connection is to the man who took them down.) I was intrigued by this gang: Why purple? Where did they come from? And why did they disappear so completely? With some facts and a lot of imagination, I chronicle the gang's swift rise and fall through the voice of their smart, cynical, and slightly self-delusional leader, Joe Bernstein. I also manage to sneak in quite a bit of social commentary about the repressive effects of the Prohibition era and the controversial actions of Henry Ford.

For Amazon's Listmania I recently created a list of the influential, memorable novels and films which informed the writing of THE PURPLES. (They're separated into books followed by films, but otherwise in no particular order. They're all good.) If you liked a lot of these authors and movies, chances are you'll like THE PURPLES.

For an excerpt and a lot more fun background about the life and times of The Purples, go to the book's site:


Birth Place
New York, NY 10549

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