Download Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean by Richard Zacks PDF

By Richard Zacks

When younger Theodore Roosevelt was once appointed police commissioner of latest York urban, he had the surprising gall to attempt to close down the brothels, playing joints, and after-hours saloons. this is often the tale of ways TR took on ny vice . . . and vice received.

In the Nineties, big apple urban was once America’s monetary, production, and leisure capital, and likewise its hottest vacation spot for sin, teeming with 40 thousand prostitutes, glittery casinos, and all-night dives. Police cap­tains took hefty bribes to determine not anything whereas reformers writhed in frustration.

In Island of Vice, Richard Zacks paints a shiny portrait of the lewd underbelly of Eighteen Nineties big apple, and of Theodore Roosevelt, the puritanical, cocksure police commissioner resolved to wash it up. Writing with nice wit and zest, Zacks explores how younger Roosevelt is going face to face with Tammany corridor, takes nighttime rambles with muckraker Jacob Riis, and attempts to persuade million New Yorkers to get pleasure from healthy relatives enjoyable. whilst Roosevelt’s crackdown succeeds too good, even his supporters activate him, and TR discovers that ny loves its sin greater than its salvation.

With cameos via Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, and a horde of very offended law enforcement officials, Island of Vice is an unforgettable snap­shot of turn-of-the-century big apple in all its seedy glory and a super miniature of 1 of America’s so much colourful presidents.

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Extra info for Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York

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It meant perks in a working-class neighborhood that had no privileges. To be a wiseguy was to own the world. " Suddenly, Henry found, he could go anywhere. He no longer had to wait in line at the local Italian bakery for fresh bread on Sunday mornings. The owner would just come from around the counter and tuck the warmest loaves under his arm and wave him home. People no longer parked in the Hill driveway, although his father never had a car. One day neighborhood youngsters even carried his mother's groceries home.

Johnny taught me how to soften up the counterfeit bills with cold coffee and cigarette ashes the night before and leave them out to dry. He taught me to pretend I was in a hurry when I went up to the cashier. He also told me never to carry more than one bill on me at a time. That way, if you get caught, you can pretend that somebody passed it off on you. He was right. It worked. I was caught a couple of times, but I could always cry my way out. I was just a kid. I'd start to yell and cry and say I had to tell my mother what happened.

I remember feeling that maybe he was right. "About this time a guy from the South opened a cabstand around the corner, on Glenmore Avenue. He called it the Rebel Cab Company. The guy was a real hick. He was from Alabama or Tennessee. He had been in the army, and just because he'd married a local girl, he thought all he had to do was open his place and compete with Tuddy. He lowered his prices. He worked around the clock. He set up special discounts to take people from the last subway and bus stops on Liberty Avenue to the far reaches of Howard Beach and the Rockaways.

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