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The Savage City (2011)

The Savage City (2011)

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3.93 of 5 Votes: 3
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0061824550 (ISBN13: 9780061824555)

About book The Savage City (2011)

The author of Paddy Whacked and Havana Nocturne turns his attention to New York City during the turbulent 1960's - specifically 1963-1973. English narrates a fascinating story of the "city that never sleeps" during this time through the prism of crime, civil rights/racial tensions and police corruption/brutality by chronicling the trials and travails of three men - George Whitmore, Bill Phillips and Dhoruba bin Wahad. And although the men never met, the three were at the center of the maelstrom of this "hard to put down" social history of the city and the country itself.Dhoruba is an ex-con, black militant/ former Black Panther, who fought the system and "the Man", with guns and words. Phillips was a NYC cop, who spent most of his waking hours using his badge padding his meager salary - no scam or scheme too far-fetched if it put money in his pocket. Whitmore, the quintessential victim, was coerced into confessing to three violent crimes - including the brutal murders of two young women in their East Side apartment - the all but forgotten "Career Girl Murders". Whitmore's story is the toughest to read - he seemingly never got a break and for each step forward he made, he took six back, leading to despair and disaster. (Ironically - and fortuitously - his alibi for the Career Girl Murders was that he was glued to the television set at work watching MLK deliver his "I have a dream" speech.)Using these personal stories, the author chronicles the Civil Rights movement, including a fascinating mini-history of the Black Panthers. Phillips' story, and his eventual testimony and arrest, highlights the pervasive racism within the NYPD and the department's wide-spread corruption, up to and including the DA's office and even judges and juries. Whitmore was the pawn caught between these two forces, in and out of jail and courtrooms, tried and retried, acquitted and found guilty - a barometer of the times.This is the author's best book to date - a fascinating read chronicling a very difficult time. Unlike some books I review here,I actually read this one as opposed to reviewing the audiobook version. Basically this is 3 separate stories that never converge with each other and I was waiting for that hook that never came.All the stories in the book take place from the mid 1960s to the early 70s.Story 1- Crooked NYPD cop gets caught extorting and becomes a rat. Somehow gets convicted of a murder that seems to come out of nowhere still in prison.Story 2- Mildly retarded kid from Wildwood NJ moves to Brownsville and is quickly picked up and intimidated by the cops to admit to a double murder and a rape that he did not do.His cases drag on for years,in and out of prison depending on what part of the appeal process he is at.The pilot for the 70s tv series Kojak is based on the murders that this guy did not commit.3rd story- Black Panther and Black Liberation Army member becomes more and more militant with each injustice he perceives as having been done to his people by the man.Participates in planned ambushes of NYC cops in the early 70s and is convicted.Convictions are eventually overturned and is now free. Good book if you are interested in stories of Dirty New York, but as I said I thought all 3 stories would interconnect.

Do You like book The Savage City (2011)?

This book was well written and informative. I learned a great deal about this era in NYC.

Not really read I guess. I couldn't get into this at all. And I rarely give up on books.

I would love to finish this book. I'm sure I will pick it back up at a later time.

Highly recommended to me by my neighbor Scott.

borrowed from nypl

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