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Download Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean up Sin-Loving New York Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelts Doomed Quest to Clean up Sin-Loving New York, by Richard Zacks Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (507 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Richard Zacks Narrator: Joe Ochman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the 1890s, New York City was America’s financial, manufacturing, and entertainment capital, and also its preferred destination for sin, teeming with forty thousand prostitutes, glittery casinos, and all-night dives. Police cap­tains took hefty bribes to see nothing while reformers writhed in frustration. 

In Island of Vice, Richard Zacks paints a vivid portrait of the lewd underbelly of 1890s New York, and of Theodore Roosevelt, the puritanical, cocksure police commissioner resolved to clean it up. Writing with great wit and zest, Zacks explores how young Roosevelt goes head to head with Tammany Hall, takes midnight rambles with muckraker Jacob Riis, and tries to convince two million New Yorkers to enjoy wholesome family fun. When Roosevelt’s crackdown succeeds too well, even his supporters turn on him, and TR discovers that New York loves its sin more than its salvation. 

With cameos by Stephen Crane, Mark Twain, and a horde of very angry cops, Island of Vice is an unforgettable snap­shot of turn-of-the-century New York in all its seedy glory and a brilliant miniature of one of America’s most colorful presidents.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bob | 2/20/2014

    " Very good book an enjoyable look back at a part of New York City that I never really knew about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Theresa | 1/29/2014

    " There's something fascinating about a Republican being a hard-core reformer. I could admire TR's tenacity and yet be amazed by his naivete. Here is a good example of a politician who simply doesn't understand the meaning of "compromise." In standing his moral ground he not only alienated Democrats, but he also turned off many in his own political party. It was a fascinating read, especially considering the current political climate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Patrick | 1/22/2014

    " Every once in awhile, I read non-fiction. This book was worth it, focusing on a period that not many know about Roosevelt. It gives you a lot of interesting backstory into the man you think you know. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Matthew Dixon | 1/18/2014

    " Interesting and incredibly well-researched book regarding Theodore Roosevelt and the New York Police Commision's attempt to "clean up" the rampant immorality of late 19th Century New York City. Fascinating on a sociological level in terms of the blue blood roosevelt who was part of the city's elite feeling so righteous about stopping the countless desperately poor people of the city from engaging in debauchery such as drinking beer on sundays. And in terms of the police being rampantly corrupt, the more things change... Liked the book though it could have used a final edit to take out some repetitive material. "

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