Boardwalk Empire: The Book Inspiring HBO’s Much Anticipated Series from Executive Producers Terence Winter and Martin Scorsese

Filed under: Top Stories — Boardwalk Empire @ 12:01 pm

Atlantic City historian Nelson Johnson explores the “birth, corruption, and high times” of the famed resort … charts the rise and fall of audacious political kingpin Enoch “Nucky” Johnson

May 25, 2010, New York, NY, During the Roaring Twenties, with Prohibition under strict enforcement and the American worker dutifully laboring for the Industrial Revolution, the seaside resort of Atlantic City flourished by catering to every desire and fantasy.

In the book, Boardwalk Empire: The Birth, High Times, and Corruption of Atlantic City, historian Nelson Johnson traces Atlantic City from its birth as a quiet seaside health resort, through the notorious backroom politics and power struggles, to the city’s rebirth as an entertainment and gambling mecca where anything goes.

“Liquor flowed freely, almost as though Prohibition didn’t exist, prostitution was celebrated, and gambling was a way of life,” says author Johnson. “Resort owners made their money by giving people what they wanted whether it was legal or not and visitors were their only source of income.” Throughout the first half of the 20th Century, Atlantic City’s political bosses cheated their candidates into office and systematically ignored any illegal activities that would keep resort visitors coming back for more. Funded by payoffs from gambling rooms, bars, and brothels, this corrupt alliance reached full bloom during the reign of Enoch “Nucky” Johnson the second of three bosses to head the Republican machine that dominated city politics and society.

HBO Series to Debut in September

Johnson’s book is the inspiration behind a major dramatic series coming to HBO this fall. Adapted for the screen by Executive Producer Terence Winter (The Sopranos), the series stars Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, and Kelly Macdonald with the pilot episode directed by Martin Scorsese. Executive produced by Terence Winter, Martin Scorsese, Stephen Levinson, Mark Wahlberg, and Tim Van Patten, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire is expected to premiere on Sunday, September 19, 2010. Originally published in 2002 and reissued in 2009, Boardwalk Empire describes the political and social forces that set Atlantic City on its unique course.

In Boardwalk Empire, Nelson Johnson (no relation to Nucky) offers a startling look at the key factors in Atlantic City’s improbable rise and fall, while introducing such unforgettable real-life characters as Nucky Johnson, Louis “the Commodore” Kuehnle, and Frank “Hap” Farley. Irresistibly told, with characters and pacing worthy of a well-crafted novel, Boardwalk Empire is the true story of a colorful city and its unique political culture. Learn more at

About Plexus Publishing, Inc.

Incorporated in 1977, Plexus Publishing, Inc., is located in Medford, New Jersey. In addition to regional and national works of both fiction and nonfiction, Plexus is the publisher of professional books and journals in the fields of biology, ecology, and medicine.  Medford Press is an imprint of Plexus Publishing, Inc. Boardwalk Empire and other titles published under the Medford Press imprint are available to bookstores through Chicago-based trade distributor Independent Publishers Group (IPG).

For more information, contact Rob Colding, Book Marketing and Exhibits, at 609-654-6500 ext. 330; email