The Shame of the Cities
The book is highly recommended. As I understood, Steffens points to the origin of corruption to two important causes:
1. Politicians and reformers are businessmen (bankers, lawyers and merchants); for they make the “commercial spirit is the spirit of profit, not patriotism; of credit, not honor; of individual gain, not national prosperity; of trade and dickering, not principle.” However, he sees hope in this kind of politicians. “If our political leader are to be always a lot of political
The “Shame” of the title is largely about officials, political rings, police, and citizens who are corrupt or tolerate corruption. In many cases it's fairly normal stuff like bribery, but in ...more
It's interesting to see the different styles of corruption, ...more
It's great to read the old purple prose of the muckrakers, but halfway through this book the reader may pine for a little hard-nosed, modern reporting, mayhaps a few dates, a little clarification on names; you know, the simple things.
Interesting though because despite the Jacob Riis photo on the cover, the "shame" of the cities in Steffens's view has nothing to do with rampant poverty. His book deals only with high-end corruption, and the "shame" supposedly comes from the inability of good ...more
Steffens began his career as a journalist at the New York Evening Post . He later became an editor of McClure's magazine, where he became part of a celebrated muckraking trio with Ida Tarbell ...more