In October McClure’s Magazine published what many consider the first muckraking article, Lincoln Steffens’ “Tweed Days in St. Louis.” The “muckrakers” . The Shame of the Cities has 49 ratings and 8 reviews. Evan said: I started reading this a few years ago and found it distant and dry and fairly non-speci. The Shame of the Cities is a collection of articles written by Lincoln Stefferns for McClure’s Magazine. The articles were written to expose.
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The book is highly recommended. As I understood, Steffens points to the origin of corruption to two important causes: All we have to do is to establish a steady demand for good government. The people Steffens then asks a good question: Do we know it when we see it?
Are we capable of that sustained good citizenship which alone can make democracy a success? Steffens does not propose any method steffen fix a corrupt system. The reformers there have no ward steffems, no machine at all; their appeal is solely to the stecfens of the voter and their power rests upon that. Louis, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. All they have is the confidence of the anonymous honest men of Chicago who care more for Chicago than anything else. For the corrupt can learn shzme lesson when the good citizens cannot.
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Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling th about the problem. Return to Book Page. The Shame of the Cities by Lincoln Steffens. This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important, and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work was reproduced from the original artifact, and remains as true to the original work as possible.
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Lists with This Book. I started reading this a few years ago and found it distant and dry and tseffens non-specific.
My interest in the muckrakers, however, means that I will give it another go someday. Well, I ordered and began reading this book with the expectation that it’d be a quaint condemnation of certain qualities of urbanism. In many cases it’s fairly normal stuff like bribery, but in o Well, I ordered and began reading this book with the expectation that it’d be a quaint condemnation of certain qualities of urbanism.
In many cases it’s fairly normal stuff like bribery, but in others it’s city government turned into a crime ring. Steffens stresses that in many of these cases the voters themselves turn a thee eye to fairly open criminal activity on the part of city government and tow the line rather than risk untried ideas, like reform.
The Shame of the Cities – Wikipedia
The book covers St. The only really encouraging article is actually the one on Chicago, since as that writing it actually had what seemed to be effective reform going on.
Philadelphia and Minneapolis are the worst cities as of the times they were depicted here. Steffens points out a few times that the root of troubles in many cities is the greed of big business. He isn’t entirely down on business men in government, but he is careful to point out that the voters must prove to these that they want good government so that these men will see that as good business.
The biggest shame for a reader today is that this book was written in and that just about everything depicted in it is still a problem today. I don’t know how city government has changed in the ones listed, but the same things are going on plainly in the country, right up to the top. It’s only too bad thd don’t call lincoon things what they are anymore.
This collection of essays from lightly documents the corruption in St. In each of these cities—indeed, in every American city—government is captured by “rings” and life only proceeds by the leave of unelected thugs.
The Shame of the Cities
The populaces range from apathetic New York to actually supportive Philadelphia. It’s interesting to see the different styles of corruption, This collection of essays from lightly documents the corruption in St.
It’s interesting to see the different styles of corruption, and the very dim, vaguely optimistic hope that maybe the votes will go the right way and bring about a genuine long-lasting change. This wan hope is typically destroyed by postscripts to the essays detailing the changes that have occurred since the essays were originally written.
We currently seem to use the Pittsburgh style of corruption, at most levels, though now it’s extended to State and Federal governments as well: In Pittsburgh and also St. Louis, to a degreethe trick was to do everything “legally”. Pass laws that allow you to funnel money however you see fit, and then graft, occupational licensing, and even what might colloquially be called “bribery” stefens become “legal”.
I found this book curiously reassuring, in the sense that is part of the so-called “Gilded Age” and often looked back on nostalgically—this was essentially a genre of movies going back before “The Thd Blonde” and extending past “My Shaame Lady” —and it’s pretty clear that every aspect of society was corrupt in cities big and small.
Tammany Hall is, of course, legendary, but I had no idea that the police department was the biggest revenue generator for the New York machine!
So, things are bad, they’re getting worse, but that’s pretty much always true. This might’ve been written years ago, but boy, do I recognize the world it describes.
The Shame of the Cities | work by Steffens |
It’s great to read the old purple prose of the muckrakers, but halfway through this book the reader may pine syame a little hard-nosed, modern reporting, mayhaps a few dates, a little clarification on names; you know, the simple things. Interesting though because despite the Jacob Riis photo on the cover, the “shame” of the cities in Steffens’s view has nothing to do with rampant poverty.
His book deals only with high-end corruption, and the “shame” supposedly comes from the inability of good citiz It’s great to read the old purple prose of the muckrakers, but halfway through this book the reader may pine for a little hard-nosed, modern reporting, mayhaps a few dates, a little clarification on names; you know, the simple things.
His book deals only with high-end corruption, and the “shame” supposedly comes from the inability of good citizens to run their own government, and the bad tje of political crooks on the reputation of their cities. Corruption here isn’t shameful because it leads to bad ends, it’s shameful because it reflects poorly on the morals and manliness of those in corrupt cities.
Dec 09, Norbert rated it liked it Shelves: It would be easy to become jaded after reading this book. Although written over years ago it is just as truthful today regarding corruption in the cities. Pravda, citiex Russian newspaper, recently wrote an editorial about the illiterate American voters.
We confirm the editorial every time there is an election. We elect a president that no one knows anything about then, after doing nothing for four years, re-elect him.
His followers are the most corrupt ever. One good thought that the author br It would be easy to become jaded after reading this book. One good thought that the author brings forth is that government corruption is tantamount to treason. Jul 26, Walt rated it it was citifs Shelves: This is one of my favorite books because it puts political corruption to a whole citids light.
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