The Political Clubs of New York City

The Political Clubs of New York City

The Political Clubs of New York City

The Political Clubs of New York City

Excerpt

This study of political clubs was begun several years ago with the intention of investing the obvious with some significance. The public is prone to accept political clubs, and machines, too, as inevitable, and it regards them with mingled feelings of distaste and respect. Periodically, the political machine falls into disfavor and it is then the fashion for reform leaders to denounce all of the "organization" clubs as parasitic institutions; but the "bosses" build them up again, recapture control of the municipal administration, and resume their plundering.

When I first turned my attention to the subject of local politics in New York City and its environs, the machine was everywhere in power. Civic corruption went unchecked, laws were violated with the apparent approval of the majority of the electors, and the few civic-minded agencies which still functioned were laughed to scorn. In the meanwhile, the depression has come upon us, the farce of prohibition has ended, a "reform" administration has assumed the responsibilities of government and political clubs have gone into decline.

My original intention was merely to analyze the structure and functions of local politics. It seemed that local political organization consisted of various closely related and complex institutions of which the institutions of political leadership, political clubs, quasi-political organizations and the patronage were the most vital. The study of political leadership, which I carried on concurrently with the present work, will appear shortly.

This book concerns itself chiefly with the analysis of . . .

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