Just after noon on September 16, 1920, as hundreds of workers poured onto Wall Street for their lunchtime break, a horse-drawn cart packed with dynamite exploded in a spray of metal and fire, turning the busiest corner of the financial center into a war zone. Thirty-nine people died and hundreds more lay wounded, making the Wall Street explosion the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history until the Oklahoma City bombing.
In The Day Wall Street Exploded, Beverly Gage tells the story of that once infamous but now largely forgotten event, tracing the four-year hunt for the perpetrators and giving readers the decades-long but little-known history of homegrown terrorism that helped to shape American society a century ago. She grapples as well with some of the most controversial events of its day, including the rise of the Bureau of Investigation, the federal campaign against immigrant "terrorists," the grassroots effort to define and protect civil liberties, and the establishment of anti-communism as the sine qua non of American politics.
Many Americans saw the destruction of the World Trade Center as the first major terrorist attack on American soil, an act of evil without precedent. The Day Wall Street Exploded reminds us that terror, too, has a history.
|Publisher:||Oxford University Press, USA|
|Product dimensions:||6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)|
About the Author
Pam Ward has performed in dinner theater, summer stock, and Off-Broadway, as well as in commercials, radio, and film. An experienced narrator, Pam has recorded many titles for the Library of Congress Talking Books program. She is the recipient of an AudioFile Earphones Award and the prestigious Alexander Scourby Award.
Table of Contents
Part I September 16, 1920
1 The Middle of Things 11
2 The End of the World 31
Part II The Story of Dynamite
3 The First Terrorist Act in America 41
4 American Roughneck 69
5 The War at Home 96
Part III A National Crime
6 The Great Detectives 125
7 Business as Usual 150
8 Usual Suspects 169
9 A Perfect Alibi 187
Part IV Faccia a Faccia
10 The Anarchist Fighters 207
11 Illegal Practices 229
12 The Martyr Who Wasn't 242
Part V The Russian Connection
13 The "Great Detective" Returns 261
14 Triple-Cross 277
15 The Wall Street Curse 291
16 The Roar of the Twenties 309
Appendix: In Memoriam 329
Note on Sources 333
Abbreviations Used in Notes 335
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Anarchists, Terror, and Class Warfare This is a highly readable, thoroughly engaging book about one of the more important movements and suppressed memories in US history. Class warfare is usually relegated to the European context, but as Beverly Gage shows, it was comprehensive and pervasive in the first quarter of the 20th century.Free of academic jargon and social science babble, Gage is a great story-teller chronologically detailing the events that lead up to the bombing, the investigation, and the aftermath. Throughout, are wonderful anecdotes about the McNamara affair in Los Angeles, wobblies in the pacific northwest, and the follies of investigators who made a mockery of the justice system.If you enjoyed Mike Davis's book "Buda's Wagon", you'll enjoy this more in-depth well-researched thesis turned book about one of the lesser known events in US history.
September 11, 2001 is a day no American will forget, especially if you lived in the city of New York. That is what we all say and believe when these horrible acts happen. But how many remember the terrorist bombing on Wall Street that happened in 1920. It is in our nature to forget the bad and put it out of our mind, even if it takes a century to do so. Since the invention of dynamite there has always been acts of terror by anarchist that have done great damage to large amounts of people and property. Of course terrorism in one form or another has always existed in every situation, but dynamite allowed a "common man" to do a great deal of damage. So yes we do forget these horrible events and are forced too relive history. Though this book starts off with the 1920 Wall Street Bombing and the not so thorough investigation of the bombing is an ongoing theme for the book. The author has really chosen to use this large bombing to write social structure of the anarchist against every government in the world and communist parties against the U.S Government all with the socialist trying to not be associated with there violent actions and stay a viable political party. And shows how most of the anarchist where originally deported from Russia and Europe to the Land of the Free through New York.New York then as now is considered the heart, even if symbolically, of Capitalism. So that seems to always be the target of terrorist when they feel they want to strike at the U.S.A. Regardless of year. It shows then as now politicians tried to use this tragedy where we have the loss of innocent lives for political gain.Gage does a very thorough job on relating the history of terrorism in the United States that occurred in the late 1800's that that lead up to the 1920 Wall Street bombing. I feel I should tell you I love reading history books and found this one quite compelling. Though she is writing about a complex event that took place almost a century ago it read as if we were following the events in real time. She goes into some great detail though I am sorry to say many references had to come from News paper clippings; and as we know all papers have their own agenda. As is needed in this kind of book, the author has gone to great extent to document her book with footnotes. I would expect no less from any history book from Oxford Press.I enjoyed reading this work of good scholarly writing. But if you are not use to reading books by historians you may find it a little hard to read. And though the book is about the bombing and the investigation, it could be subtitled 'A Study of the Socialist and Anarchist movement in the early part of the 20th century'. All in all I enjoyed the book and its attention to detail.