Beatty's focus is on tracking the transformation of the late 19th Century through an in-depth examination of key events and representative biographies...moreBeatty's focus is on tracking the transformation of the late 19th Century through an in-depth examination of key events and representative biographies that highlight the alliance between government and business, including the Supreme Court's infamous Santa Clara decision (effectively extending equal protection rights to corporations), the bloody suppression of the Homestead strike, and the rise (and fall) of the Populist movement. This is the story of "political capitalism": "government favors to business in return for business favors to politicians."
"This is a government of the people, by the people, and for the people no longer . . . It is a government by the corporations, of the corporations and for the corporations." -- Rutherford B. Hayes, 1886
Thomas Wolfe's Four Lost Men:
For who was Garfield, martyred man, and who had seen him walk the streets of life? Who could believe his footfalls ever sounded on a loud pavement? Who had heard the casual and familiar tones of Chester Arthur? And where was Harrison? Where was Hayes? Which had the whiskers, which the sideburns; which was which?
As Thomas Dewey was later to observe, in America politics is the shadow cast on society by big business. And these were the shadows-in-chief.
In 1875 two times as many children under twelve worked in the "tariff-made state of Rhode Island," mostly in textile mills, as in 1851. "There is, however, little danger of an outbreak among them," the Sun observed. "They live, as a rule, in tenements owned by the company employing them; and when they strike they are at once thrown out in the street. Then they are clubbed by policemen, arrested as vagrants, and sent to the county jail, to be released to take their choice of going to work at the old wages or starving." Recently a man had starved to death - three dogs had been found gnawing on his bones.
-- Jack Beatty
Things today may be grim, but they still aren't Gilded Age grim.(less)
I have a couple of pieces in it. Even at almost 20 years old (seriously? How can that be? It just came out. Right?) It's still the definitive history...moreI have a couple of pieces in it. Even at almost 20 years old (seriously? How can that be? It just came out. Right?) It's still the definitive history of Indianapolis, Indiana. Great for those who are casual history buffs, but also a good jumping off point for those who want more meat and sourced material in their history. It needs updating. Perhaps in the anniversary edition? (less)
Quick and funny. Written in 2004, it has a very Sherlock vibe. The villain even uses the line to the protagonist that he could cut his hand on his ch...moreQuick and funny. Written in 2004, it has a very Sherlock vibe. The villain even uses the line to the protagonist that he could cut his hand on his cheekbones. I laughed out loud. Hey, a good line is a good line. Recycle!(less)
This is a short novella featuring Madame Vastra (AKA: The Great Detective), Jenny Flint and Strax (AKA: The Turkish Fellow & The Psychotic Potato...moreThis is a short novella featuring Madame Vastra (AKA: The Great Detective), Jenny Flint and Strax (AKA: The Turkish Fellow & The Psychotic Potato Dwarf). Together they fight crime in late Victorian London. The public know them as The Paternoster Gang.
Don't get your hopes up that this will give any insight into the Jenny/Vastra relationship or how Strax came back to life or how Vastra became "The Great Detective". It gives about as much character insight or back-story as an episode of Law and Order.
This is a simple mystery that misdirected me for about half the story, on purpose or not -- I'm not sure. It begins with a Christmas snow, a Snowman, a dead woman found in the snow and a mysterious gentleman in a top hat. One would naturally think that somehow these plot points are references to the 2012 Doctor Who Christmas Special, "The Snowmen"; one would be wrong.
I enjoy the characters of Vastra, Jenny and Strax and Justin Richards has written more Doctor Who than just about anyone, but this was disappointing. Save your money and if you can, check it out from your local library's e-collection.(less)
There are many things wrong and I could nit-pick. There are many things I enjoyed, too. The main problem for me, is that this is the fourth in Bill Pr...moreThere are many things wrong and I could nit-pick. There are many things I enjoyed, too. The main problem for me, is that this is the fourth in Bill Pronzini's Quincannon series and first in the Carpenter and Quincannon Mystery, jointly written with his wife - noted mystery author, Marcia Muller. For me and I'm sure for many readers, it was our entree into these characters. So why add the extra distraction of including the most famous fictional Detective in modern history? In the Carpenter/Quincannon universe, Sherlock Holmes is a real person. He died a few years before. Now a "Bughouse" Londoner has shown up in San Francisco claiming to be Holmes. Except he's on the QT. Not even Watson knows he's still alive. So don't tell anyone. Except he does. All the time. He looks like Holmes. Dresses like Holmes. Plays the violin like Holmes and *calls* himself Holmes! This is set in 1894, a time when they have cameras, wax recording cylinders, telephones, telegraph and newspapers -- so why does one of the cleverest men in the world think no one would freak out because Sherlock Frickin Holmes is back from the dead? Well, they don't. No one believes him. I suppose because he seems very Holmes-lite. Think of the portrayal of Holmes in CBS' Elementary, which is more House and Monk (both, ironically Holmes knock-off) than BBC's Sherlock. So why would the authors throw in this really distracting -- is he or isn't he -- red herring into the first book of their new series? I wanted to get to know the characters but I was constantly Holmes-blocked. I've never read any of Mr. Pronzini's works, but I'm a fan of Ms. Muller's Sharon McCone series. Once she hit her stride, the characters in the McCone series became very fleshed out. We knew them. In later books, I think most fans read them not so much for the mystery but to catch-up on Sharon's life and the growing supporting cast. That's what surprised me so much about this book. The Bughouse Affair felt like the first few books in the McCone series. Tentative and clumsy but with promise. Except in those early McCone books, we were watching a good writer mature and grow into her craft. Now, this writing team has probably 50+ years and 100 books and dozens of awards between them - it's very surprising and ultimately, disappointing.(less)
Cowboys Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer and his brother Gustav “Old Red” in 1890s Montana have just been hired at the Bar VR Ranch. It's not a very pleasan...moreCowboys Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer and his brother Gustav “Old Red” in 1890s Montana have just been hired at the Bar VR Ranch. It's not a very pleasant place, but a job's a job. One day, though, the boys come across the aftermath of a cattle stampede, complete with the aftermath of a body. How did this fellow meet his demise? A fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories in The Strand, Old Red sees the perfect opportunity to employ his Holmes-inspired “deducifyin’” skills and sets out to solve the case. With Big Red as his Watson, "Holmes" is on the range.(less)
Cowboys Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer and his brother Gustav “Old Red” are back and they're tired. Tired of saddle sores and long trail rides. Old Red in...moreCowboys Otto “Big Red” Amlingmeyer and his brother Gustav “Old Red” are back and they're tired. Tired of saddle sores and long trail rides. Old Red insists they sign on to protect the luxurious new Pacific Express, despite a generations-old Amlingmeyer family distrust of the farm-stealin', cattle-killin', money-grubbin' railroads. Old Red knows that little brother, Big Red wants to take a stab at professional ‘detectifying’ just like his hero, Sherlock Holmes so they quickly find themselves hired on as guards for the railroad. Soon, the boys find themselves trapped on a train, summiting the Sierras en route to San Francisco with a gang of outlaws, a baggage car filled with secrets, and a vicious killer hidden somewhere amongst the passengers.