In the days of Tammany Hall, politicians like George Washington Plunkitt spent their careers in service to the city - but first and foremost in the service of the political machine. Plunkitt seems never to have doubted exactly where he stood on the deeply corrupt yet amazingly effective politics and government in which he spent his life; he was entirely in favor of it and gave it his devoted service while becoming a millionaire in return. He was instrumental in expanding the New York City park system and in creating the Museum of Natural History, the 155th Street Viaduct, and many other public improvements - and he profited handsomely from his insider's knowledge of the real estate aspects of them all.
In this audiobook, William L. Riordan, one of the "muckracker" journalists, records Plunkitt's take on politics in Plunkitt's own words - as delivered from the bootblack stand at the New York County Courthouse, Plunkitt's only office. His take on life, politics, and morality is as delightfully frank as it is astonishingly cynical. Enjoy!
Public Domain (P)2015 Robert W. Bethune
I stumbled across an excerpt from this book while editing a US History reader a while back, and was immediately charmed. Grabbed the ebook/audible bundle and can highly recommend both. Plunkitt is a character, and his little homilies on NYC, graft, and in particular the political machine that made this city such a plum landing pad for Irish immigrants provide telling insights into our particular immigrant story. Riordan's introduction provides valuable context, and Robert Bethune's gives an audiobook performance worthy of a one man stage show.
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