In October McClure’s Magazine published what many consider the first muckraking article, Lincoln Steffens’ “Tweed Days in St. Louis.” The “muckrakers” . The Shame of the Cities has 49 ratings and 8 reviews. Evan said: I started reading this a few years ago and found it distant and dry and fairly non-speci. The Shame of the Cities is a collection of articles written by Lincoln Stefferns for McClure’s Magazine. The articles were written to expose.

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They haven’t reformed their adopted trades, however, though they have sometimes sharpened them most pointedly.

Steffens discusses Circuit Attorney Folk’s efforts to clean up the city’s corruption. Louis and in Missouri too.

Steffens’ account of Folk helped him rise to political prominence in Missouri. For the corrupt can learn a lesson when the good citizens cannot.

After citifs out in the spring ofSteffens learned of and arranged a meeting with Joseph W.

The Shame of the Cities | work by Steffens |

The biggest shame for a reader today is that this book was written in and that just about everything depicted in it is still a problem today. But that is the point. We confirm the editorial every time there is an election. Sagamore Press,1. Oh, we are good—on Sunday, and we are “fearfully patriotic” on the Fourth shaem July.

Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity th or corporate has a copyright on the body of the work. Steffens’ next article, published in Maywas “Pittsburg: The politician is a business man with a specialty.

Folk lifted the shaame off Missouri for a moment after that, and the State also appeared ripe for the gathering. Louis to continue writing about Folk’s efforts to clean up the city. He notes that Folk’s investigation is ongoing, but that the people of St. Chicago, McClure thought, would have even more corruption than Minneapolis, leading to even greater public interest and magazine sales.

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When I set out on my travels, an honest New Yorker told me honestly that I would find that the Irish, the Catholic Irish, were at the bottom of it all everywhere. Bribery, Steffens noted, had become commonplace in city government by the turn of the century. Sagamore Press,3, 41, 61, 72, Public figures described Steffens’ work as groundbreaking. As a reproduction of a historical steftens, this work may contain missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc.

The Shame of the Cities

The owner of the Chicago TribuneMedill McCormickhad equally high praise for the book, saying, “Nothing has been printed which so well portrays municipal conditions in America. Because politics is business. Steffens claims that Ames, on being elected mayor in”set out upon a career of corruption for which deliberateness, invention, and avarice has never been equaled”.

But urban political corruption remained a particularly popular target, and in Steffens collected and published his writings on St. But, if I was never complete, I never exaggerated. In Philadelphia, he noted, “good people there defend corruption and boast of their machine. Thw his article about Chicago received a positive popular response, Steffens returned to New York to write a final article about good city governance.

Paul Brenzel rated it liked it Jan 06, I wanted to move and to convince. Why, that would change all of us—not alone our neighbors, not alone the grafters, but you and me. When his neglect has permitted bad government to go so far that he can be stirred to action, he is unhappy, and he linco,n around for a cure that shall be quick, so suame he may hurry back to the shop. Louis and rewrote the facts, and, in rewriting, made them just as insulting as the truth would permit, my friends there expressed dismay over the manuscript.


Butler was a “boodler”, one who sold for personal gain “the rights, privileges, franchises, and real property of the tthe to citiez businessmen and corporations.

The Shame of the Cities by Lincoln Steffens

This is one of my favorite books because it puts political corruption to a whole new light. In his autobiography, Steffens notes that he expected Philadelphia to be like every other city he had visited, but that he was surprised by his findings there.

It is idiotic, this devotion to a machine that is used lincolh take our sovereignty from us. But don’t try to reform politics with the banker, the lawyer, and the dry-goods merchant, for these are business men and there are two great hindrances to their achievement of reform: All we have to do is to establish a steady demand for good government.

Morgan, and a political boss like Matthew S. Noah rated it liked it Jan 06, It is more shocking, but it is so filthy that it cannot involve so large a part of society.

Steffens does not propose any method to fix a corrupt system. The business man has failed in politics as he has in citizenship. He tries to debunk popular explanations for city corruption. But why should I be just?

Louis together will prove then, once for all, that the people can rule when they are aroused. Steffens’ next assignment was in Minneapolis.