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More Powerful Than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy Hardcover – April 24, 2012
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“Jobless, homeless, hungry, desperate. Remarkable how those words resonate through the years in the richest and most powerful country in world history. Their significance is dramatically highlighted in this compelling and vivid portrayal of the currents that swept the country a century ago, and have come back to haunt and inspire us once again today. More Powerful Than Dynamite is an impressive piece of work.” ―Noam Chomsky
“Almost exactly a century before Occupy Wall Street launched a cause and gripped a nation, a different kind of radical movement in New York City was stirring, stunning, and scaring the country. Thai Jones, a brilliant historian and breathtaking writer, tells this compelling story in MORE POWERFUL THAN DYNAMITE. In his hands, the past is indeed prologue.” ―Samuel G. Freedman, author of Jew Vs. Jew
“New York was as divided by class, race, and ideology a century ago as it is in our own time. That the city actually exploded in 1914 is not surprising. What is surprising is how subtly, persuasively, and imaginatively Thai Jones has interpreted the period and brought a rich cast of characters to life. More Powerful Than Dynamite is an exciting book.” ―Kenneth T. Jackson, Columbia University, editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City
“Thai Jones brings into vivid life a period of American history when the haves and the have nots were close to civil war, a fascinating recreation of people we have forgotten at our own peril. An enjoyable and enlightening read.” ―Marge Piercy, poet, novelist, memoirist
“A compelling and layered portrait of a year, a nation, and a people on the verge, More Powerful Than Dynamite is filled with echoes that clamor in contemporary America. The writing itself is so rich and powerful, the selection of scenes so smart, the details so telling, that it reads like an epic novel.” ―Bill Ayers, co-founder of the Weather Underground and author of Fugitive Day
“[T]his book begins with an intensely dramatic scene, and continues to fascinate the reader right through to the end. We follow a group of people--especially the notorious "Weather" people--who are at the center of the extraordinary events of the Sixties. Abstractions like "radicalism", "pacifism" "violence" are given a human face, as we see the characters in this book struggle, often in troubling ways, for a world free of war and injustice.” ―Howard Zinn, author of A People's History of the United States on A Radical Line
About the Author
Thai Jones is author of A Radical Line: From the Labor Movement to the Weather Underground, One Family's Century of Conscience. Formerly a reporter for Newsday, he is a graduate of Vassar College and the Columbia School of Journalism, and is pursuing a Ph.D. in U.S. History at Columbia University.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
And that is just one passage.
To support his description of the New York Police Department's chief inspector, Jones' footnote is longer than the passage in the text. A full page of notes go to one single paragraph (the paragraph is on p. 137, and the notes are on p. 362), describing the officer's physique (a newspaper article and a memoir), his mustache (a photo), his eye color (a passport registration card), etc., etc.
My favorite footnote, however, is on p. 22, where Jones is cataloguing the number of traffic fatalities incurred in New York in 1914.Read more ›
Focusing mostly on 1914, with excursions into the years immediately before and after, Thai Jones carefully and lovingly examines the "radicals, plutocrats and progressives" who affected the lives of so many New Yorkers, so many Americans. The key players, John Rockefeller, Jr., Mayor John Purroy Mitchell, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Frank Tannenbaum, etc., are given most of the real estate in the text, and deservedly so. But never EVER lost in the discussions of these personalities is the working man. Thai Jones is to be credited for keeping in focus the effects these radicals, progressives and plutocrats had on the working class, whether in New York City or in the coal mines of Colorado.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is going to be a rather brief review because I still don't know much about the era, but that is what made the book interesting to me. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Perry B. Alers, aka peebee
"More Powerful Than Dynamite" has the intensity, brilliance, and some of the same characters as E.L. Doctorow's "Ragtime" - but it's all real! Read morePublished 12 months ago by AJ
I am a fan of historical non-fiction and this book more than fulfilled my expectations. It was well written and impressive research was obviously done. A learning experience.Published 15 months ago by Ray L
Interesting period piece. Difficult to get into in the beginning. It had its moments but lacked the character development to consistently grab me and make me want to keep... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bradley Jones
The more things change the more they stay the same. One hundred years after the events in this book, it sometimes seems like today's news. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
Richly textured writing, engaging to read, this account adds much that is new and thus freshens our sense of political and cultural life in New York City during the pivotal year,... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Charles E. Reitz
Well balanced book looking at social disruption anarchists and socialists. Displays their faults, their dreams as well as those of rockerfeller jr. An excellent read
An absolutely brilliant work of completely engrossing historical scholarship. It sticks to your ribs and soul. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Suzanne Pred Bass
I enjoyed reading Thai's book. It is well written with a writing style that is engaging and easy to read. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Nancy Morse