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Daniel Czitrom
Mount Holyoke College (South Hadley, MA 01075-1461)
Politics, Culture, and the Underworld in Turn-of-the-Century New York City

MYSTERIES OF THE CITY examines the origins, revelations, and legacies of the explosive 1894 Lexow Committee inquiry into the New York Police Department. Focusing on NYPD management of both elections and the vice economy, Lexow revealed how the struggle to control the city's underworld shaped both metropolitan politics and New York's increasingly uneasy relationship to the nation. The Lexow story provides a new angle of vision on how the city actually operated, as well as illuminating a cluster of related themes: the persistent anti-urbanism in American culture; the contested meanings of the police power; the bi-partisan reality of machine politics; the genesis of muckraking and Progressivism; and the origins of the welfare state.

[Media coverage]

Project fields:
U.S. History

Fellowships for College Teachers and Independent Scholars

Research Programs

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2005 – 6/30/2006