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 na ve 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 democracy was reborn in post-Civil War industrial America-and the crusader who made it possible.
Publisher: Cooper Square Publishers Inc.,U.S.
Number of pages: 504
Weight: 794 g
Dimensions: 234 x 160 x 32 mm