Lincoln Steffens's the Shame of the Cities, and the Philosophy of Corruption and Reform

Newcastle upon Tyne, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing (2020)
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This book is a new scholarly edition of Lincoln Steffensâ classic, â oemuck-rakingâ account of Gilded Age corruption in America. It provides the broader political background, theoretical and historical context needed to better understand the social and political roots of corruption in general terms: the social and moral nature of corruption and reform. Steffens enjoyed the support of a multitude of journalists with first-hand knowledge of their localities. He interviewed and came to know political bosses, crusading district attorneys and indicted corruptionists spanning a cast of hundreds. He also benefited from the support of a large-scale, nationally prominent network of anti-corruption specialists and luminaries, including President Theodore Roosevelt. Steffens explored in detail the high Gilded Age corruption of New York City, Chicago, â oecorrupt and contentedâ Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Minneapolis. His work culminated in a well-documented record of Gilded Age corruption in the cities; and, with the addition of the editorial annotations, Chronology and Introduction of this edition, the reader is placed in a position to gain an overview and considerable insight into the general, moral and social-political phenomenon of corruption. This book will be of interest for students and professionals in political philosophy, political science, American history and American studies.

Author's Profile

H. G. Callaway
Temple University (PhD)


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