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The Great Riots of New York 1712-1873
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The Great Riots of New York 1712-1873

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  39 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
One of the most popular writers of his day-and one most unjustly forgotten-J.T. Headley thrilled audiences with his tales of real-life history. This 1873 work is an enthralling collection of accounts of urban upheaval in one of the U.S.'s most historically vital cities: New York. Here, Headley offers us highly readable and informative reports on: the negro riots of 1712-17 ...more
Paperback, 332 pages
Published August 1st 2009 by Cosimo Classics (first published 1873)
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Feb 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Keeping in mind, of course, that these are only the great riots.

My go-to reference for discussions about the unexpected consequences of grave robbing and using a severed arm to taunt children.
Louis Picone
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book about the story of the riots, how they were perceived in 1873 when Headley wrote the original book as well as how the riots were perceived in 1969 (when the afterword was written) as well as the critique Headley's interpretation. Also fascinating to read about the study of violence which was in its infancy in 1969
Aug 24, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs, New York obsessives
I've lived for eight years in New York and experienced one small blackout, one large, one terrorist attack, one water main break, several huge anti-war rallies and one Republican National Convention rally, fears about anthrax and MRSA, threat levels of all colors, and we have the reputation of bearing up and moving on.

But New York today is nothing compared to what it was, to the days when riots were a more-or-less regular event, be they over scarcity of flour, the Stamp Act, racial or religious
Aug 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, look, this was originally written a long time ago so be prepared for some rather unsavory descriptions at times and some downright racism. If you're able to move beyond that (and there were a few times I wanted to fling the book out of my subway car and into the east river) it's actually a fairly informative read. I didn't even know about some of these riots and found myself researching even more about some of them. Especially the Astor Place riot because really, people? Fighting over whic ...more
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Great Riots of New York, despite being over 100 years old, is still highly readable. Joel Headly's text is clear and direct. His descriptions of New York's various riots are exciting and don't get bogged down in detail or asides. The centerpiece of the book, a narrative of the 1863 New York Draft Riots, is described almost like a battle. Indeed, Headly treats the Riots with such importance because he believed that they were a relevant extension of the Civil War during which they took place. ...more
Tom Darrow
Originally published in 1873, this book contains many of the elements of books of that period. The writing style if dry and factual, but the information is good. Brings to light many of the lesser-known riots in NYC that shaped its history. The major draw back is one common to books of this sort... once you have read about several riots that are caused by similar things (racism, food shortages, etc) the rest get rather repetitive.
Jun 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating facts and details for students of NY history. I had not realised the draft riots of 1863 were so protracted and so bloody. There is possibly too much diary-like reportage gleaned from the papers of that time but he certainly brings all the riot action over the decades to life. Perhaps a good starting point to fire the imagination for further study.
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Joel Tyler Headley was an American clergyman, historian, author, newspaper editor, and politician who served as Secretary of State of New York.
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