Plunkitt of Tammany Hall and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$5.65
Qty:1
  • List Price: $5.95
  • Save: $0.30 (5%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 19 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1995

ISBN-13: 978-0451526205 ISBN-10: 0451526201 Edition: Revised

Buy New
Price: $5.65
61 New from $1.00 134 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $9.98
Amazon Price New from Used from
eTextbook
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$6.14
Mass Market Paperback
"Please retry"
$5.65
$1.00 $0.01
Unknown Binding
"Please retry"
$7.47

Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student



Frequently Bought Together

Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics (Signet Classics) + The United States Since 1980 + Du Bois and His Rivals
Price for all three: $55.32

Buy the selected items together
  • The United States Since 1980 $22.67
  • Du Bois and His Rivals $27.00

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Save up to 90% on Textbooks
Rent textbooks, buy textbooks, or get up to 80% back when you sell us your books. Shop Now

Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 98 pages
  • Publisher: Signet Classics; Revised edition (November 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451526201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451526205
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This is a model of how teaching materials should be crafted. It is the clearest, most comprehensive, and most interesting discussion of Plunkitt that I have ever read." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Peter Quinn is the author of the novel Banished Children of Eve (winner of an American Book Award) and previously served as speechwriter for New York governors Hugh Carey and Mario Cuomo. A third-generation New Yorker whose granparents were born in Ireland, he is currently Editorial Director for Time Warner and lives in Hastings, New York.


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Mike Baum on December 30, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
George Washington Plunkitt is simply charming. Corrupt, of course, but charming nonetheless--and refreshingly honest about his corruption, which is part of his charm. I got more than a few quiet chuckles from his "very plain talks on practical politics" and almost felt I was reading a series of Mark Twain monologues.
A reader has to be careful around Mr. Plunkitt. He exhibits attractive, quintessentially American qualities such as a smart, down-to-earth common sense, a kind of "tell it like it is" honesty and a readiness to hustle to achieve his goals. He also, however, has such negative traits as, among others, anti-intellectualism and a propensity to employ the better parts of his character in the service of very pragmatic--in the derogatory sense--goals. Yet I *like* the man, and I think most readers do. The way he talks about himself endears me to his vices and very nearly makes me forget that graft is graft, whether "honest" or not. This ability of his (or of his interviewer/editor/co-author), apart from his astute observations or the fuller appreciation he might give some readers of the politics of Tammany Hall and the patronage system, is probably the key to his book's enduring popularity. He's simply interesting, and that is enough reason to read his book.
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on December 22, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In history's rear view mirror, George Washington Plunkitt appears to be just another guy in a long line of corrupt politicians. There's no denying that he was corrupt, but as William Riordon recounts, Plunkitt honestly believed that he was not doing the public any harm. In fact, he believed that there was such a thing as honest graft, a sort of victimless crime. Certainly this was a self-serving philosophy, but there is a sincerity in his discourses that defies any trace of hypocrisy.
His belief that Tammany Hall was a benevolent organization that served the poor and needy put a bemused smile on my face. After all, Plunkitt doesn't see or doesn't admit to seeing that the robbing of public funds through honest or dishonest graft is what contributed to the social problems, like unemployment, poverty and crime, which for the most part put the needy and poor in their predicament in the first place. But he absolves himself from his actions by his now-famous defense, "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em." And this is what makes Plunkitt such a congenial and magnetic man, what makes him so damned likeable. You KNOW he's a thief, you KNOW he contributed to the misery of thousands. Yet his playful, plain-speaking style, his candidness about his activities, his wit, and, at times, his goofiness, make him different from other Tammany leaders like Boss Tweed, say, or Charlie Murphy. He's more in line with Big Tim Sullivan or James J. Walker.
George Washington Plunkitt was a charmer, no doubt about it. William Riordon was obviously under his spell. And the Johnson/Boswell comparison is very valid. It is difficult to maintain the utter contempt one should have for this thief. And yet... I would have loved to have had drunk with him at Hoffmann's bar and let him speak on for hours. Like Riordon, I think I would have been hypnotized too.
NB--Peter Quinn's brilliant Introduction serves the book well.
Rocco Dormarunno, author of The Five Points
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 23, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Plunkitt was a king in a world that needed benevolent despots. In a place like turn of the century of New York before Keynesian economics and the Welfare State, Tammany was the only relief the poor knew. Plunkitt reveals with refreshing honesty the seemingly rough and coarse manner with which one needed to play the game of politics in his town. However, one must look at it in context. This was a different time from our own, and the reader must imagine whether a person of Plunkitt's demeanor can last in the information age political world. Then again, the book also illustrates how many of the problems Tammany had still exist today.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 7, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I used this book for research on turn-of-the-century politics, particularly political machines. I found it to be very useful in describing the ways party bosses manipulated and filandered in order to gain power. Plunkitt's candid style made for a very entertaining and informative read.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Sylvia on February 22, 2007
Format: Paperback
I read this for my Political Parties Class. I found the book very interesting, however there were more typos in this book, than in any book I have ever read. I would buy a different edition of this book. This is a reprint from a company that only does reprints of rare books. Find another one to go with, you have to decipher this one. For example, some "I" are replaced with "!", and so on. Very annoying.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. PARADISO-MICHAU on March 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Plunkitt makes no allusion to his goals: money for himself through patronage of his loyal constituency. He really is quite endearing in his straightforwardness about the game of politics. If any of our presidential hopefuls were a fraction as honest as Plunkitt, they would have my vote guaranteed.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 17, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Corruption and graft are not new to public policy. Plunkett gives short insightful tales of human nature and politics. This books reminds local officials the problems they face are not new and give an insightful perspective on the political machine.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John B. Maggiore on June 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
PLUNKITT OF TAMMANY HALL translates remarkably well a century after William Riordon transcribed the wit and wisdom of the ward healer for whom the book was titled. The context of Plunkitt's stories has changed, but his essential messages have remained.
On a case by case basis, Plunkitt's adages care a certain amount of wisdom. His insights into how politics works - personal connection and service delivery trump issues and oratory - are especially poignant. Yet the reader of a hundred years ago and the reader of today realize that they are reading the philosophy of a rouge. Plunkitt's distinction between "Honest graft" and "dishonest graft" explains more his mindset than justifies his, and his ilk's, corruption. His rants against the civil service system make sense only up to the point of understanding that his preferred alternative is a spoils system that has little to do with public service.
Plunkitt speaks across time to two very relevant modern phenomena: voter apathy and corruption in politics. Although Plunkitt himself senses the beginnings of voter apathy, he would be shocked at the lack of interest today, especially amongst those in most need of a friendly government. But Plunkitt too would be able to recognize the cause - voter's of Plunkitt's day knew directly how their vote would affect their futures. Voting the right way might mean a job, or food, or some other service that would not otherwise be available. As government assistance has become fairer and more equitable, that direct connection has diminished.
As politics in Plunkitt's time was obviously far more corrupt than politics today, that condition too put the lie to the notion that dishonesty in politics is a new thing that has bred cynicism and thus a decline of civic participation. Its an interesting notion that could hardly be conveyed better than through this little book from the past.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Customer Images

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?