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More Powerful Than Dynamite

Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy
Jones, Thai, 1977- (Book - 2012)
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
More Powerful Than Dynamite
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Baker & Taylor
Traces how 1914 New York City was inundated by a social revolution marked by such challenges as a devastating winter, uprisings between anarchist demonstrators and wealthy industrialists and the July bombing of a Harlem tenement. 25,000 first printing.

McMillan Palgrave
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.


Authors: Jones, Thai, 1977-
Statement of Responsibility: Thai Jones
Title: More powerful than dynamite
radicals, plutocrats, progressives, and New York's year of anarchy
Publisher: New York : Walker & Co., 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
Characteristics: xi, 402 p. : ill. ; 25 cm.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references and index
Subject Headings: Plutocracy New York (State) New York History 20th century Labor movement New York (State) New York History 20th century Progressivism (United States politics) Anarchism New York (State) New York History 20th century New York (N.Y.) Politics and government 1898-1951 New York (N.Y.) History 1898-1951
Topical Term: Plutocracy
Labor movement
Progressivism (United States politics)
Anarchism
LCCN: 2011033517
ISBN: 0802779336
9780802779335
Branch Call Number: 974.7104 J
Research Call Number: IRGN 12-4987
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Jones, Thai, 1977-
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