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The Savage City

Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge

T. J. English

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

In the early 1960s, uncertainty and menace gripped New York, crystallizing in a poisonous divide between a deeply corrupt, cynical, and racist police force, and an African American community buffeted by economicdistress, brutality, and narcotics. On August 28, 1963—the day Martin Luther King Jr. declared "I have a dream" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial—two young white women were murdered in their Manhattan apartment. Dubbed the Career Girls Murders case, the crime sent ripples of fear throughout the city, as police scrambled fruitlessly for months to find the killer. But it also marked the start of a ten-year saga of fear, racial violence, and turmoil in the city—an era that took in events from the Harlem Riots of the mid-1960s to the Panther Twenty-One trials and Knapp Commission police corruption hearings of the early 1970s.

The Savage City explores this pivotal and traumatic decade through the stories of three very different men:
George Whitmore Jr., the near-blind, destitute nineteen-year-old black man who was coerced into confessing to the Career Girls Murders and several other crimes. Whitmore, an innocent man, would spend the decade in and out of the justice system, becoming a scapegoat for the NYPD—and a symbol of the inequities of the system.Bill Phillips, a brazenly crooked NYPD officer who spent years plundering the system before being caught in a corruption sting—and turning jaybird to create the largest scandal in the department's history.Dhoruba bin Wahad, a son of the Bronx and founding member of New York's Black Panther Party, whose militant activism would make him a target of local and federal law enforcement as conflicts between the Panthers and the police gradually devolved into open warfare.
Animated by the voices of the three participants—all three of whom spent years in prison, and are still alive today—The Savage City emerges as an epic narrative of injustice and defiance, revealing for the first time the gripping story of how a great city, marred by fear and hatred, struggled for its soul in a time of sweeping social, political, and economic change.

Publishers Weekly Review

Nov 29, 2010 – Forget Vietnam—New York City in the 1960s and 1970s hosted its own civil war between a racist police force and a newly militant black underclass, according to this bare-knuckled true-crime saga. A journalist and ex-screenwriter for NYPD Blue and Homicide, English (Havana Nocturne) distills a decade of conflict into three iconic figures: George Whitmore, a black teen wrongly charged with the grisly "Career Girl Murders" on the basis of a coerced confession; Bill Phillips, a dirty cop whose testimony exposed ubiquitous police corruption; and Dhoruba Bin Wahad, a Black Panther targeted by both law enforcement and rival comrades. English paints a vivid, gritty panorama of a city wracked by racial insurgency, showing us precinct house backrooms where black suspects are beaten and white perps let off with a bribe; seething ghettos ready to riot at the next police shooting; and mean streets where the cops themselves face machine-gun fire. The author's pulpy prose—"The Career Girls Murder story was like a good-looking whore"—and episodic subplots don't quite support his vision of urban apocalypse. Still, English gives us a gripping, noirish retrospective of an era when brutal misrule sparked desperate rage. Photos.

Customer Reviews

Great book

Possibly the best book on the topic of civil rights I have ever read. It is an invaluable companion to books like The Autobiography of Malcolm X or any other of great achievement. A fascinating crime-drama plot that examines not only the depths of depravity we are willing to subject others to, but also the great hope that we are all part of one human family. This is a truly great read. 10 out of 10.

An astounding civics lesson.

Both informative and entertaining, I couldn't put this book down.

The Savage City
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: True Crime
  • Published: Mar 15, 2011
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Seller: HarperCollins
  • Print Length: 528 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings