Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York

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Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2005 - Biography & Autobiography - 437 pages
22 Reviews
Among the monumental characters who ascended to impossible renown and influence in the history of American politics, few are more fascinating than Boss Tweed; and few working historians could record in more vivid detail his astonishing career than Kenneth D. Ackerman—an investigative historian of the first order.

Ackerman's vibrant, accessible, and altogether captivating Boss Tweed is a biography of the legendary figure who "bribed the state legislature, fixed elections, skimmed money from city contractors, and diverted public funds on a massive scale." During his reign at Tammany Hall and then in a variety of elected posts, including as U.S. senator, Tweed wielded almost total control over New York State and City politics, before his unparalleled zealotry and remorseless disregard for the law led to his imprisonment. Yet, as the author shows, Tweed’s positive political contributions have been largely overlooked. From one of the most talented new historians to have emerged in recent years, this book presents a thrilling story of the master manipulator who tried to make all of New York the instrument of his own ruthless ambitions, and succeeded—for a time. More than sixty photos and political cartoons by Thomas Nast are featured throughout.

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Review: Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York

User Review  - Lee - Goodreads

The Story of the Boss and the crooked politician who set the mark that all corrupt politicians since have been compared to William Tweed. A in depth look at Tweed's rise to power how Tammany Hall and ... Read full review

Review: Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York

User Review  - Maureen Leach - Goodreads

Even as a native New Yorker and a public historian I learned fascinating facts. Wonderful cultural history! Read full review

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About the author (2005)

Kenneth D. Ackermanis the author of the Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of James A. Garfield, featured on C-Span’s “Booknotes” and “BookTV” plus National Public Radio’s “All Thing’s Considered,” and The Gold Ring: Wall Street’s Swindle of the Century and Its Most Scandalous Crash—Black Friday, 1869, which recounts a notorious attempt to corner the post-–Civil War gold market.

Ackerman is a 25-year veteran of senior positions in Congress, the executive branch, and financial regulation. As Administrator of the Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency from 1993 through 2001, he headed the Federal crop insurance program that protects more than one million American farm producers. Ackerman has also served two tours on U.S. Senate staffs, first as Counsel to the Committee on Governmental Affairs (1975-–81) under then-Senator Charles H. Percy, Republican, of Illinois, and later as Special Counsel to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry (1988–93) under its then-Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat, of Vermont. During the years between, he held senior legal positions at the U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

In these positions, Ackerman has investigated issues ranging from the 1979–180 silver corner to the 1987 stock market crash, and developed legislation on topics from farm policy to electronic eavesdropping to civil service reform to financial market oversight. He has testified before dozens of Congressional hearings and town meetings with farmers in more than twenty states, as well as bar assciations and government officials in London, Warsaw, Vienna, Tel Aviv, and Ramallah.

He was profiled in Government Executive magazine in 1997 and included by National Journal that year in its “Washington 100” list of top Federal decision-makers. He currently teaches seminars on legislation and lobbying for TheCapitol.Net.

A native of Albany, New York, and graduate of Brown University (1973) and the Georgetown University Law Center (1976), Ackerman practices law in Washington, D. C. and lives with his wife Karen in Falls Church, Virginia.

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