The Last of the Big-Time Bosses: The Life and Times of Carmine de Sapio and the Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall

The Last of the Big-Time Bosses: The Life and Times of Carmine de Sapio and the Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall

The Last of the Big-Time Bosses: The Life and Times of Carmine de Sapio and the Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall

The Last of the Big-Time Bosses: The Life and Times of Carmine de Sapio and the Rise and Fall of Tammany Hall

Excerpt

Carmine Gerard De Sapio, the last man to be boss of the political instrument known as Tammany Hall, was possibly the most powerful political boss of recent times. He was certainly the most controversial in the minds of people in politics and the most mysterious to the public at large.

A decade after he fell from power in 1961 the political woods remain populated with men and women who regard De Sapio as the best political boss they have ever known or heard of. They remember him with affection and, given the opportunity, will recall some personal involvement with him that demonstrated his innate decency and consideration for others. On the other hand, there are those who could not accept him as either legitimate or respectable, no matter what he did personally; to them, he was tainted by underworld support and Tammany slime. There are, of course, others who did not know him at all but who distrusted him simply because he was the boss, and they see only evil in the boss concept.

Carmine De Sapio entered the arena of big-time politics in New York when the old political machines based on patronage and corruption were dying anachronisms all over the nation. The once fearsome Tammany machine in New York was no exception. After De Sapio had worked his way up through the Tammany ranks to become the boss, he dedicated himself to reversing the national trend, to restoring the Tammany machine to power so remodeled and modernized that it could run efficiently in the new political climate.

By dint of hard work, force of personality, brilliant maneuvers . . .

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