Island Of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest To Clean Up Sin Loving New York by Richard Zacks
My rating: ✰✰✰
E-Book, Library Book, Finished: 6/30/2012

This book gives us a very good picture of what life was like in the late 1800’s in Manhattan. We get the picture of the level of ‘sin’ in the city and the efforts of a Reverend Parkhurst to document it. He goes into the Tammany Hall politics of the day and gives us an idea of what Roosevelt was up against.

For Roosevelt to clean up vice he first needed to clean the police department. The NYPD would look the other way when vice laws were being broken, for a price. Many of the captains and commissioners and the chief of police got rich off the illegal gambling, brothels and liquor sales.

Roosevelt attempted to fire the corrupt police officers and hire men of high morals. He managed to ban liquor sales on Sunday (for a while), during the reform there were some claims of false arrests and imprisonments.

Theodore Roosevelt is portrayed as a know-it-all blowhard, this is supported by direct quotes from letters, speeches and newspaper articles. This is a very detailed account of Roosevelt’s time as police commissioner of New York. It doesn’t drag but it is also not an exciting or fast moving story.

I would recommend this book for people who enjoy biographies and history, also for people interested in true crime.

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About Belleza

I got the name Bella because my grandfather called me Suzabell. I use that as a username and my friends on the site started calling me Bella. Thus was born: Bella Foxx's Life, now known as "just a city girl" since I have made the big jump from the country and am now living in the City, UES. I like to make jewelry (check out my blog "Bella is creative" started April 17, 2008) and write. I like to do cross stitch and knit. I sew, I don't really enjoy it, but I enjoy the clothes. I like to read the Bible, books, magazines, online newspaper articles, blogs, jokes on candy wrappers, ads on the subway, billboards, backs of food boxes, lists of ingredients and recipes, cleaning directions, sayings on shirts. I post my reviews on "Just a girl, living, reading, watching, and writing", on Shelfari, Library Thing and Goodreads.. I am allergic to practically everything: grass, trees, weeds, animal dander, dust, mold, wheat, apples, nuts, fish and coconut. The fish and coconut are so serious I carry an Epi-pen and wear a Medic-Alert bracelet. And last but not least. I love the Yankees.

One response

  1. Rita Gurdas says:

    Wow….once again I am impressed with this review. I really never read bio’s although I have bought one and it is still sitting on the bookshelf. I find this fascinating as it has a definite true crime thread plus you get an opportunity to look back on how law and order was handled back in the ‘day’. Great Review…