By Lawrence H. Larsen, Nancy J. Hulston
More than a half-century after the dying of Kansas City's infamous political boss, Thomas J. Pendergast, the Pendergast identify nonetheless conjures up nice curiosity or even controversy. Now, during this first full-scale biography of Pendergast, Lawrence H. Larsen and Nancy J. Hulston have effectively provided—through wide learn, together with use of lately published criminal files and formerly unavailable family members records—a transparent examine the lifetime of Thomas J. Pendergast.
Born in St. Joseph, Missouri, in 1872, Tom Pendergast moved to Kansas urban round 1890 to paintings for his brother James, founding father of the Pendergast "Goat" faction in Kansas urban Democratic politics. In 1911, Pendergast turned head of the Goats, and over the following fifteen years he created a strong political desktop that used unlawful vote casting and felony enforcers to realize strength. Following a metamorphosis within the urban constitution in 1925, Pendergast took keep watch over of Kansas urban and ran it as his personal own company. within the Nineteen Thirties, he acquired over $30 million each year from playing, prostitution, and narcotics, placing him within the large leagues of yankee civic corruption. He additionally wielded nice strength within the nationwide Democratic occasion and commenced Harry S. Truman at the highway to the presidency.
In this well-balanced biography, the authors study Pendergast's upward thrust to strength, his successes as a political chief, his compassion for the destitute, and his recognition for holding his observe. additionally they learn Pendergast's personality improvement and the way his equipment turned a growing number of ruthless. Pendergast had little need for ideology in his "invisible government"—only votes counted.
In 1937 and 1938 the government broke the again of Pendergast's computer, convicting 259 of his crusade aides for vote fraud. In 1939 Pendergast, who used to be believed to be the most important bettor on horse racing within the usa, used to be jailed for source of revenue tax evasion, and he died in shame in 1945.
An insightful and entire biography, Pendergast! would definitely serve for years yet to come because the so much thorough research of the existence and notorious occupation of Tom Pendergast.
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Extra resources for Pendergast!
A 1911 newspaper account, however, reported that he and Carolyn Elizabeth Dunn Snider were married in a civil ceremony in Belleville, Illinois, on January 25, 1911. Tom said the marriage was the result of a long-standing engagement and that they had gone to the Illinois city, near St. LouiS, to avoid publicity. "Carrie," as Tom's new wife was called, was from a West Bottoms family. In February 1911, the Pendergasts were married again in a private Roman Catholic ceremony performed by Father Frank T.
A favorite proposition held that Kansas City would continue to advance as long as the men of the Commercial Club remained in control. The members of the club had little interest in politics, beyond supporting those elected officials who were friendly to business. This attitude extended to considering the public welfare. After a prolonged Apprenticeship 27 downturn followed on the heels of the national panic of 1893, the club decided its responsibility was to bring about a return of prosperity and did not extend to handing out charity to the unfortunate.
He embraced religion and actively tried to persuade young Roman Catholic boys to join the Father Matthew Temperance Society. Apprenticeship 37 His saloons and interests in liquor wholesaling, real estate developing, and paving contracting seemed of less significance to him. 34 So did politics. " What he planned to do was lie back in a chair and feel sorry for all the "suckers" in Kansas City. "It's me for Johnson County, the alfalfa and the flowing lace curtains," he claimed. "35 Jim left the council in 1910 and turned his seat over to Tom, who won election easily.