Books by Richard Zacks
NPR stories about Richard Zacks
When Teddy Roosevelt became a New York police commissioner in 1895, he vowed to clean up the city's endemic vice and corruption. It didn't exactly work out. New Yorkers liked the idea of standing up to corrupt cops, but they rebelled when Roosevelt tried to enforce a ban on Sunday drinking.
If you want to know anything about America's greatest city, you've got to be willing to get grimy, says critic Maureen Corrigan. Two new books about New York — a novel and a narrative history — do more than put up with filth, they positively wallow in it.