Boss Platt and His New York Machine: A Study of the Political Leadership of Thomas C. Platt, Theodore Roosevelt, and Others

By Harold F. Gosnell | Go to book overview

PREFACE

In this study the author has endeavored to describe the social background, the personal qualities, and the technique of a typical state political boss. The boss system was in a particularly flourishing condition during the late nineties in the northeastern part of the United States. Thomas Collier Platt of New York was selected for this analysis because there is a wealth of material available upon New York politics. In calling Senator Platt a "boss" the author does not wish to pass judgment upon the man. The endeavor is to give some objective meaning to the term. Platt happened to be the man who was recognized as the leader of the Republican party in the state of New York at the time when Theodore Roosevelt was coming into national notice. Platt's relations with Roosevelt would make an intensely interesting biographical study. The author has attempted to touch upon some of these relations. But only in part of this book is the chronological method followed. The organization of the book sometimes does violence to the sequence of events, but it is hoped that the arrangement adds to the understanding of the boss and the machine in actual operation.

In gathering material for this analysis, the writer was aided by the following New Yorkers: Hon. Frederick M. Davenport, state senator from Clinton, Col. D. A. Alexander, former congressman from Buffalo, Hon. C. H. Betts, state assemblyman from Lyons, Hon. B. B. Odell, former governor of New York, Hon. Chauncey M. Depew, former United States senator, Hon. Herbert P. Parsons, former

-vii-

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