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Extended Audio Sample The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge Audiobook, by T. J. English Click for printable size audiobook cover
4.28 out of 54.28 out of 54.28 out of 54.28 out of 54.28 out of 5 4.28 (18 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: T. J. English Narrator: Dennis Boutsikaris Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2011 ISBN: 9780062027474
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“T.J. English has the mastered the hybrid narrative art form of social history and underworld thriller. The Savage City is a truly gripping read filled with unexpected twists and turns.”
—Douglas Brinkley, author of The Great Deluge

In The Savage City, T.J. English, author of the New York Times bestselling blockbuster Havana Nocturne, takes readers back to a frightening place in a dark time of violence and urban chaos: New York City in the 1960s and early ’70s. As he did in his acclaimed true crime masterwork, The Westies, English focuses on the rot on the Big Apple in this stunning tale of race, murder, and a generation on the edge—as he interweaves the real-life sagas of a corrupt cop, a militant Black Panther, and an innocent young African American man framed by the NYPD for a series of crimes, including a brutal and sensational double murder.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “T. J. English has the mastered the hybrid narrative art form of social history and underworld thriller. The Savage City is a truly gripping read filled with unexpected twists and turns. Highly recommended.”

    Douglas Brinkley, New York Times bestselling author

  • The Savage City is a necessary examination of the people, passions, and maligned principles by which New York City once lived and died. English has a magnificent sense of the manner in which people, landscape, and history are bound together. Every world is a corner and every corner is a world.”

    Colum McCann, New York Times bestselling author

  • “[T. J. English] returns with a swashbuckling, racially charged nightmare about New York City in 1960s. This is one nightmare worth reliving because Mr. English so vividly re-creates an era…He graphically reconstructs a rampaging decade through three lives.”

    New York Times

  • “A brutal reminder that New York was not always such a welcoming place.”

    New York Post

  • “A searing profile of an ugly New York…The Savage City is meant to make us look back in anger and sorrow, perhaps to reflect upon what stayed the same as things changed.”

    New York Daily News

  • “It’s dripping with the kind of detail that’s too good to make up.”

    Mother Jones

  • “An epic look at the racial animus, fear, and hatred that characterized [a] troubled decade…Through the lives of three ostensibly unrelated men, English peels back the underlying turmoil that led to the violent period and the unaddressed social ills that remain to this day.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “English paints a vivid, gritty panorama of a city wracked by racial insurgency…A gripping, noirish retrospective of an era when brutal misrule sparked desperate rage.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A comprehensive, still-shocking exhumation of racial discord in America.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the April 2011 Indie Next List
  • A 2012 Macavity Award Nominee for Best Mystery-Related Nonfiction
  • A 2012 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charlie | 2/19/2014

    " The Savage City, by T.J. English, is a great non-fiction book for older audiences due to the crimes, language, and other stuff. I would recommend this book to people who like topics about the civil right movement and/or love to learn about history from other views. It is a very interesting book and keeps you sucked in for ever. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dawn Hansen | 2/17/2014

    " This book was well written and informative. I learned a great deal about this era in NYC. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lumumba Shakur | 2/14/2014

    " This is book is far better than I had originally expected. I was hoping it would give me some insight into the environment around which my parents grew up that lead them to join the Black/Brown Power Movement - it did that and so much more. This book is a fascinating documentation of the generational shift that occurred as the Civil Rights Movement moved north and entered into metropolitan areas. It is not just a tale of corruption and violent revolution, but a city at a time when the racial tensions boiled over and exploded. The South had Jim Crow, the North had a system of racial oppression that was in its own ways more profound and devastating to the underprivileged communities. If this book does nothing other than debunk the continued social lie that the South is where racism was rooted, it would be enough. Though somewhat of a true-life crime novel, this book should stand alongside The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness and other such works devoted to explaining how alive and well institutional racism still is in contemporary America. If people don't make the connection between then and now, they have missed English's entire point. The detail and thorough of this book is amazing and the way that English gives the living history of a generation through the real-life, personal experiences of three individuals is brilliant. It is an eye-opener and is definitively on my recommended reading list. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 2/1/2014

    " Interesting tale of lost history "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lorkol | 1/14/2014

    " This book tells the history of violence and corruption in NYC from 1963 to 1973. Well known names like Serpico, John Lindsay, Huey Newton, Stokely Carmichael, Malcolm X and Adam Clayton Powell all contributed to this time in NYC history. Most importantly was a man by the name of George Whitmore, whose terrifying encounter with the NYPD led the US Supreme Court to issue the guidelines known as the Miranda Act. This book is a great way to learn the history of that era. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/4/2014

    " This book covers a period of time (1963-1973) in NYC that I wasn't familiar with even though I was close by, and by intertwining the stories of three different men gives an interesting - and disturbing - picture of this turbulent era "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabriel Sheehan | 12/29/2013

    " New York City in the 60s and early 70s as you've never seen it before, from the angle of race. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 April Fleming | 12/23/2013

    " Totally great history - one of the many layers of New York's dark history. It's also a fantastically depressing book about how some people got insanely screwed due to institutional racism and a corrupt police force. Extremely well-written and researched. Think after this one I'm finally ready for some fiction. Something not true, please! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Witkowski | 12/10/2013

    " This book captures the New York City that used to be in the 1970s. It also tells the story of wrongful conviction and corrupt cops. A great read for anyone who has faith in cities being turned around and in the ultimate achievement of justice in unlikely circumstances. I liked this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jasmine | 10/6/2012

    " This is an excellent book. It's an insightful and fascinating history of a time in our country I thought I knew. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Benjamin | 7/25/2012

    " Jesus. New York Shitty. The race riots were CRAZY and the police were out of control. Read it in conjunction with American Gangster: And Other Tales of New York, really gives one a picture of what the place was like in the 60s and 70s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry Birkel | 2/4/2012

    " well documented and fascinating analysis of NYC during the 1970's "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Reggie | 11/11/2011

    " The book is nothing if not comprehensive. When books about 1970s New York mention a "turbulent civil rights struggle" as having contributed to the deplorable state of the city, this book describes that struggle. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Munema | 7/30/2011

    " This is like the coolest murder novel ever. Except it's all true. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Colleen Brazill-murray | 5/12/2011

    " Really well done. If you want to learn more about the civil rights movement this is your book. Just loaded with primary sources yet reads like an exciting novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erica | 4/23/2011

    " If I could give this book a 6, I would. I want a sequel! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 4/12/2011

    " The juxtaposition of Dhoruba bin Wahad's story with George Whitmore's seemed a bit forced to me but this is a great read for anyone wanting to know more about one of the pivotal cases in developing Miranda rights. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra | 4/11/2011

    " The book started out fantastic. I found myself engulfed in the history but 1/2 way through the book I felt like it was the same thing over and over again. "

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About the Author

T. J. English is the New York Times bestselling author of Havana Nocturne, Paddy Whacked, The Westies, and Born to Kill, which was nominated for an Edgar Award. His screenwriting credits include television episodes of NYPD Blue and Homicide, for which he was awarded the Humanitas Prize. He lives in New York City.

About the Narrator

Dennis Boutsikaris has won two Obie Awards, one for his performance in Sight Unseen, and played Mozart in Amadeus on Broadway. Among his films are W.Batteries Not Included, The Dream Team, and Boys on the Side. He is a recipient of both Audie and Earphones Awards and has read over 140 audiobooks.