The Tiger: The Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall

Oliver E. Allen, Author Da Capo Press $24.9 (336p) ISBN 978-0-201-62463-2
The Tammany Society, named after a legendary Native American chief, was formed in 1789 to resist an aristocratic political system. In a painstakingly researched study, Allen ( New York, New York: A History of the World's Most Exhilarating City ) traces the 150-year history of Tammany, detailing its evolution from a national organization to a New York City political machine. Tammany's long identification with the Democratic party began in 1817, when Irish immigrants won the right to membership. Associated with graft and violence early on, Tammany's corruption reached a peak during the 1860s when, under ``Boss'' Tweed's leadership, Tammany fixed elections, sold judgeships and stole $30 million in public funds. Because Tammany reached out to the poor and provided jobs, it was able to ride out scandal until the reform movement of the 1960s ended its long reign. This is a strong contribution to urban studies. Illustrations. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1993
Release date: 11/01/1993
Genre: Nonfiction
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