Boss Tweed


The Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York


“If the gods in their wisdom were to sentence me to 30 days in a prison cell with either Boss Tweed or Al Gore, I would need about 11 seconds to choose my cellmate. Welcome home, Boss.

Condemned for my sins to an ocean cruise, I’d rather share a cabin with Tweed than any evangelist, reformer or improver of public morals, dead or alive. ….. Save me from tinhorn messiahs… Republican or Democrat now holding public office.

“In this era of true believers and invincible mediocrity, give me Tweed.”
-Pete Hamill, New York Times Book Review, March 2005.

Tweed+New.JPGWilliam Magear Tweed, America’s most corrupt politician ever, ruled New York City in the 1860s and 1870s. He rigged the votes, bribed the legislature, and stole on a massive scale. But even in prison, people still loved and admired him. Tweed’s is a stunning tale of pride, fall, and redemption.

“Kenneth D. Ackerman’s superbly written biography of Boss Tweed is spellbinding . . . every bit as commanding as the man himself.” —Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City.

A New York Times Notable book for 2005.

Read an Excerpt from Boss Tweed


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Download the new EARS EDITION

The new audio book version of BOSS TWEED, read by the excellent Scott Ellis, is now available on Amazon, Audible, or wherever you prefer to download your audios.  Here’s a sample-

As a companion,  here is a LINK TO ALL THE VISUAL IMAGES FROM THE BOOK, to follow along as you listen or to enjoy separately afterward.

Visit All Things Boss Tweedlinks to Tweed photos, cartoons, background, so on.

Interviews on Boss Tweed

Reviews of Boss Tweed

And more:

  • “Ackerman has fashioned a notable career chronicling with obvious relish the tarnished politics of the Gilded Age. … [An] absorbing account of Tweed’s rise and fall.” —Michael Kenney, Boston Globe
  • “Not only a compelling look at the colorful yet ruthless man who invented the big city political machine, it is also the gripping story of how dedicated newspapermen and zealous reformers brought down a notorious kingpin.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
  • “Skillfully tells the story of the Tammany Hall chief . . . Ackerman makes it hard not to root for the old Boss in his final days when he faces his enemies.” —Jennifer Itzenson, Denver Post
  • “A thoroughgoing, rayon-smooth biography of Boss Tweed . . . A fine piece of narrative historiography for a wide public, from scholars to the lay enthusiast of New York City’s political past.” —Kirkus Reviews

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