The Untouchables (1957 book)

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First edition (publ. Julian Messner)

The Untouchables is an autobiographical memoir about Eliot Ness co-written by Oscar Fraley, published in 1957. The book deals with the experiences of Eliot Ness, a federal agent in the Bureau of Prohibition, as he fights crime in Chicago in the late 1920s and early 1930s with the help of a special team of agents handpicked for their incorruptibility, nicknamed The Untouchables.

The main part of the book is written in first-person anecdotal style, as if directly from Ness's reminiscences; a foreword and afterword by Fraley provide historical context. In fact, Fraley, who was a prominent sportswriter for United Press when he worked on the book, did most of the writing, although Ness wrote a lengthy synopsis that Fraley used as a starting point, made himself available for interviews, made his scrapbooks and other memorabilia available for research purposes, and approved the final version of the text shortly before his death.[citation needed]

The book inspired The Untouchables, a popular television series which ran from 1959 to 1963, and the 1987 film The Untouchables.