Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York
Few characters in American history are more iconic than Boss Tweed, and, as a biographer, it was a rare challenge trying to bring his career to life, a tale of his pride, fall, and redemption. During his reign, Tweed wielded enormous influence over New York politics and Federal elections, bribing the state legislature, fixing elections, skimming money from city contractors, and diverting public funds on a massive scale—before his disregard for the law led to his imprisonment. It is a fascinating story of a master manipulator who tried to make all New York the instrument of his ambitions, and succeeded—for a time.
Reviews of Boss Tweed
Review by Pete Hamill. New York Times Book Review, March 2005
Review by Kenneth T. Jackson The Washington Post Book World, March 2005.
Review by Michael Tomasky in The New York Review of Books, December 2005
Review by Eric Fettman. New York Post, April 17, 2005
Review by Peter Ekman, Harvard Political Review. May 2007.
Review in “The Weekly Whig” Blog, August 2007.
A New York Times Notable Book for 2007.
“Ackerman has fashioned a notable career chronicling with obvious relish the tarnished politics of the Gilded Age.”
“[An] excellent new biography of the Boss . . . superb on the creation of the Tweed system and its expansion from acceptable petty skimming to the glittering fellowship of the ring . . . told in a crisp, clear way.”
—Pete Hamill, New York Times Book Review
“Replete with rich biographical details and colorful anecdotes that bring the period to life . . . A pleasure to read.”
—Kenneth T. Jackson, Washington Post Book World
“Kenneth D. Ackerman’s superbly written biography of Boss Tweed is spellbinding . . . every bit as commanding as the man himself.”
—Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City