In 1892, when Rev. Charles H. Parkhurst (1842-1933) emerged as the most controversial figure in the city, New York was leaderless. The police ruled the streets with nightsticks, extorting vast sums of money from the flourishing vice industry. Every day more boatloads of immigrants—mostly Russian Jews—arrived on the Lower East Side, while the Irish controlled the machinery of the city through Tammany Hall. The uptown rich, who despised politics as degrading, were working on table arrangements for the next Patriarchs' Ball, while below Fourteenth Street firebrand radicals tested their new freedoms by advocating insurrection.
Disguising himself, Parkhurst plunged into New York's criminal underworld. There, in police-protected dens of prostitution, gambling and after-hours saloons, the uptown pastor of the Madison Square Presbyterian Church found the evidence for a sermon that rocked the city. Over the next three years this charismatic hero exposed the brutal police department; overthrew the corrupt political machine that ran New York; and instilled a fresh forward-looking spirit that resulted in a dramatic urban renewal.
Warren Sloat herein addresses such intriguing issues as: what motivated Parkhurst to take on such an implacable array of foes; how Parkhurst was able to unite the progressive elements of New York-uptown reformers, suffragist women, and poor immigrants; how "the blue wall of silence," even a century ago, covered up police wrongdoing; how women participated in Parkhurst's battle to win over the city; and how a naïve and idealistic pastor became a savvy political leader, a canny campaigner, and an influential voice in shaping public opinion.
A Battle for the Soul of New York chronicles the uncertain and shifting transition between the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, and features anarchists, gangsters, swaggering cops, prostitutes, saloon owners, and a narrative that gathers momentum and sweeps to a rousing conclusion. It is the dramatic, previously untold story about how democrac
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What can you say about a work of American history that opens with transvestite waiters singing in an 1890s New York dive? Well, you might say that it ventures into new historical territory. Or you might say that it has changed your view of late 19th Century life--which was my intention in writing A Battle for the Soul of New York.
The saloonkeepers, Anarchists, suffragists, private detectives, disreputable judges, Jewish immigrants, gaudy prostitutes, and swaggering cops of my book aren't the usual types celebrated in our sanitized history, but they were all important players in a dramatic confrontation the likes of which had not been seen before. And the main character--the Rev. Dr. Charles H. Parkhurst--is a historical find, an urban warrior whose crusade against police corruption and political bosses rocked the city and changed America.
Parkhurst shows us, in case we have forgotten, that one person can make a difference. But to do that he had to be flexible, resolute, tough, determined to come up with the evidence, ready to toss respectability to the winds--a 19th Century Erin Brockovich.About the Author:
Warren Sloat, author of The Press and the Suburbs and other books on American history, lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Book Description Cooper Square Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110815412371
Book Description Cooper Square Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0815412371 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1343083
Book Description Cooper Square Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0815412371
Book Description Cooper Square Press, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0815412371
Book Description Cooper Square Press, New York, NY, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. No Flaws or Blemishes; Gift Quality. First Edition ¿ First Printing --- Line drawings throughout book come from New York newspapers of the 19th century. --- ------- A Battle for the Soul of New York chronicles the uncertain and shifting transition between the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era, and features anarchists, gangsters, swaggering cops, prostitutes, saloon owners, and a narrative that gathers momentum and sweeps to a rousing conclusion. Bookseller Inventory # 006425