More Powerful Than Dynamite

More Powerful Than Dynamite

Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy

Book - 2012
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In the year that saw the start of World War I, the United States was itself on the verge of revolution: industrial depression in the east, striking coal miners in Colorado, and increasingly tense relations with Mexico. "There was blood in the air that year," a witness later recalled, "there truly was."

In New York, the year had opened with bright expectations, but 1914 quickly tumbled into disillusionment and violence. For John Purroy Mitchel, the city's new "boy mayor," the trouble started in January, when a crushing winter caused homeless shelters to overflow. By April, anarchist throngs paraded past industrialists' mansions, and tens of thousands filled Union Square demanding "Bread or Revolution." Then, on July 4, 1914, a detonation destroyed a seven-story Harlem tenement. It was the largest explosion the city had ever known. Among the dead were three bombmakers; incited by anarchist Alexander Berkman, they had been preparing to dynamite the estate of John D. Rockefeller Jr., son of a plutocratic dynasty and widely vilified for a massacre of his company's striking workers in Colorado earlier that spring.

More Powerful Than Dynamite charts how anarchist anger, progressive idealism, and plutocratic paternalism converged in that July explosion. Its cast ranges from celebrated figures such as Emma Goldman, Upton Sinclair, and Andrew Carnegie to the fascinating and heretofore little known: Frank Tannenbaum, a homeless teenager who dared to lead his followers into the city's churches; police inspector Max Schmittberger, too honest for his department and too crooked for everyone else; and Becky Edelsohn, a young anarchist known for her red tights and for spitting in millionaires' faces. Historian and journalist Thai Jones creates a fascinating portrait of a city on the edge of chaos coming to terms with modernity.

Publisher: New York :, Walker & Co.,, 2012.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9780802779335
0802779336
Branch Call Number: 974.71041 JO
Characteristics: pages cm

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StarGladiator
Apr 13, 2015

A fantastic read on real American history, Real Labor History, something you won't get in an Avi Chomsky talk! Could such a climate prevail again? Unlikely, when only a very few corporations own the medium [and thus control the message], and when they are in turn owned by the top banks. Who finances all those so-called think tanks who are forever defining and framing what is called // the news \\? Nobody in America today knows who owns anything, and that's exactly the way the kleptocrats, also known as // philanthropists \\, want it.

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