Study Guide

Boardwalk Empire Manipulation

By Nelson Johnson


The dudes we meet over the course of Boardwalk Empire are so manipulative that they might as well be starring in The Wolf of Wall Street. We meet corrupt politicians who fix elections, steely businessmen who shake down tourists for their last dollars, and opportunistic criminals who flaunt every law in the book.

Sometimes their manipulations work like a charm; sometimes they fail miserably. Still, the course of Atlantic City history is shaped by the backroom machinations of these powerful people, their subtle manipulation of the masses, and their blatant corruption. It might not exactly be a heart-warming tale, but it's one that needs to be told.

Questions About Manipulation

  1. How does Atlantic City contribute to consumer culture? Be specific, please.
  2. Are Atlantic City businessmen justified in manipulating tourists? Explain your answer.
  3. Which of the Atlantic City bosses is best at manipulating people?
  4. Are Atlantic City residents being manipulated by their leaders? Why or why not?

Chew on This

Although each of Atlantic City's bosses have their strengths and weaknesses, no one is better at manipulation than Nucky.

Atlantic City's manipulation of its visitors helps created modern consumer culture.