The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Some US political history stuff online

The not search but serendipity principle on which the net seems to operate requires one to snap up URLs when they come to hand, not when one needs them.

In that spirit, one or two interesting pieces germane to the stuff you'll find around here:

A book (in HTML chunks) called The New York Rapid Transit Decision of 1900:
Economy, Society, Politics
by Wallace B Katz - a period in New York City politics last discussed here in connection with the career of William Travers Jerome on January 10. (It looks like there's plenty of other interesting stuff on the New York Subway site.)

Then there's a 16,000 word piece profiling a number of pols, many of whom are friends of the blog: Frank Hague, Ed Crump, James Curley, Huey Long, Eugene Talmadge, Tom Pendergast, Theodore Bilbo, Arthur Samish (the only one I'd never heard of - from California), and Richard Daley.

And a gallimaufry of fact and gossip about Franklin Roosevelt (the FDR Scandal Page).

Beyond the general admonition caveat lector, this sort of piece is naturally to be read with more than a little scepticism: it's of value for providing leads to be checked out, not for its reliability.

(It seems to me that the trouble with FDR, much hated in his time (as, evidently, by the author of the Scandal Page!), is that most of the biographies and the like that the Great Unwashed are likely to stumble over in libraries and regular bookshops tend to the hagiographic. I recall reading Albert Fried's FDR and his Enemies, according to which - though memory may be playing tricks - without exception, said enemies either came round to FDR's way of thinking, or proved themselves in some way of inferior worth.)

I find I mentioned Samuel P Orth's The Boss and the Machine in a piece on August 8 2003 on prosecutors who turned their fame into political capital.

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