The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Mar 15, 2011 - True Crime - 496 pages
31 Reviews

In the early 1960s, uncertainty and menace gripped New York, crystallizing in a poisonous divide between a deeply corrupt, cynical, and racist police force, and an African American community buffeted by economic distress, brutality, and narcotics. On August 28, 1963—the day Martin Luther King Jr. declared "I have a dream" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial—two young white women were murdered in their Manhattan apartment. Dubbed the Career Girls Murders case, the crime sent ripples of fear throughout the city, as police scrambled fruitlessly for months to find the killer. But it also marked the start of a ten-year saga of fear, racial violence, and turmoil in the city—an era that took in events from the Harlem Riots of the mid-1960s to the Panther Twenty-One trials and Knapp Commission police corruption hearings of the early 1970s.

The Savage City explores this pivotal and traumatic decade through the stories of three very different men:

  • George Whitmore Jr., the near-blind, destitute nineteen-year-old black man who was coerced into confessing to the Career Girls Murders and several other crimes. Whitmore, an innocent man, would spend the decade in and out of the justice system, becoming a scapegoat for the NYPD—and a symbol of the inequities of the system.
  • Bill Phillips, a brazenly crooked NYPD officer who spent years plundering the system before being caught in a corruption sting—and turning jaybird to create the largest scandal in the department's history.
  • Dhoruba bin Wahad, a son of the Bronx and founding member of New York's Black Panther Party, whose militant activism would make him a target of local and federal law enforcement as conflicts between the Panthers and the police gradually devolved into open warfare.

Animated by the voices of the three participants—all three of whom spent years in prison, and are still alive today—The Savage City emerges as an epic narrative of injustice and defiance, revealing for the first time the gripping story of how a great city, marred by fear and hatred, struggled for its soul in a time of sweeping social, political, and economic change.

  

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Review: The Savage City

User Review  - Erin - Goodreads

a little over a year ago i saw this book at a shop in brooklyn and took a photo of its cover because it seemed like something i would be into. i thought it was a story about the career girls murders ... Read full review

Review: The Savage City

User Review  - Joe V - Goodreads

The author of Paddy Whacked and Havana Nocturne turns his attention to New York City during the turbulent 1960's - specifically 1963-1973. English narrates a fascinating story of the "city that never ... Read full review

Contents

Blood of the Lamb
3
Business as Usual
18
The Bowels of Brooklyn
33
Get Those Niggers
58
Getting Flopped
78
On the Button
94
Harlem Nocturne
113
Fathers and Sons
133
Revolution
213
Off the Pigs
231
Whitmores Last Stand
255
The Rot Within
275
Panther Justice
301
NEWKILL
327
Long Time Comin
354
Epilogue
379

Fear
153
PART II
177
Black Power
179
Holy Shit
196
Acknowledgments
395
Sources
446
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

T.J. English is the New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne, Paddy Whacked, The Westies, and Born to Kill, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. His screenwriting credits include TV episodes of NYPD Blue and Homicide, for which he was awarded the Humanitas Prize. He lives in New York City.

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