9780452010949 / 0452010942

Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (Meridian S)


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Publisher:Plume, 1991



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About the book:

Preface by William L. Riordon
A Tribute by Charles F. Murphy
Chapter 1. Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft
Chapter 2. How To Become a Statesman
Chapter 3. The Curse of Civil Service Reform
Chapter 4. Reformers Only Mornin' Glories
Chapter 5. New York City Is Pie for the Hayseeds
Chapter 6. To Hold Your District: Study Human Nature and Act Accordin'
Chapter 7. On The Shame of the Cities
Chapter 8. Ingratitude in Politics
Chapter 9. Reciprocity in Patronage
Chapter 10. Brooklynites Natural-Born Hayseeds
Chapter 11. Tammany Leaders Not Bookworms
Chapter 12. Dangers of the Dress Suit in Politics
Chapter 13. On Municipal Ownership
Chapter 14. Tammany the Only Lastin' Democracy
Chapter 15. Concerning Gas in Politics
Chapter 16. Plunkitt's Fondest Dream
Chapter 17. Tammany's Patriotism
Chapter 18. On the Use of Money in Politics
Chapter 19. The Successful Politician Does Not Drink
Chapter 20. Bosses Preserve the Nation
Chapter 21. Concerning Excise
Chapter 22. A Parting Word on the Future Party in America
Chapter 23. Strenuous Life of the Tammany District Leader


THIS volume discloses the mental operations of perhaps the most thoroughly practical politician of the day-George Washington Plunkitt, Tammany leader of the Fifteenth Assembly District, Sachem of the Tammany Society and Chairman of the Elections Committee of Tammany Hall, who has held the offices of State Senator, Assemblyman', Police Magistrate, County Supervisor and Alderman, and who boasts of his record in filling four public offices in one year and drawing salaries from three of them at the same time.

The discourses that follow were delivered by him from his rostrum, the bootblack stand in the County Court-house, at various times in the last half-dozen years. Their absolute frankness and vigorous unconventionality of thought and expression charmed me. Plunkitt said right Out what all practical politicians think but are afraid to say. Some of the discourses I published as interviews in the New York Evening Post, the New York Sun, the New York World, and the Boston Transcript. They were reproduced in newspapers throughout the country and several of them, notably the talks on "The Curse of Civil Service Reform" and "Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft," became subjects of discussion in the United States Senate and in college lectures. There seemed to be a general recognition of Plunkitt as a striking type of the practical politician, a politician, moreover, who dared to say publicly what others in his class whisper among them-selves in the City Hall corridors and the hotel lobbies. ...

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