The Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York
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.
William 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.
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Visit All Things Boss Tweed, links to Tweed photos, cartoons, background, so on.
Interviews on Boss Tweed
- Panel at NY Historical Society with Mayor Ed Koch and Pete Hamill on Boss Tweed, April 2006
- Interview with NPR’s”Bryant Park Project” on Boss Tweed, April 2008
- Interview with NRP’s “On Point,” April 20, 2005.
Reviews of Boss Tweed
- Review by Pete Hamill. New York Times Book Review, March 2005
- Review by Kenneth T. Jackson, The Washington Post Book World, March 2005
- Review by Michael Tomasky in The New York Review of Books, December 2005
- Review by Eric Fettman. New York Post, April 17, 2005
- Review in “The Weekly Whig” Blog, August 2007
- “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