By Herbert Mitgang
The guy Who Rode the Tiger is the dramatic tale of the most important research of political corruption in American municipal heritage.
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Extra info for The Man Who Rode the Tiger: The Life and Times of Judge Samuel Seabury
He found that corruption was not merely political. " Steffens saw a system where corruption existed in banks and labor unions and dummy corporations as well as in political machines. In recent years, major cities all over the United States have had their share of corrupt officials and scandals. New York City isn't the worst; it's just the biggest. The Empire City has witnessed parking-meter exposés, indictments of taxi and limousine commissioners, resignations of chairmen in the Health and Hospital Corporation, borough presidents using their offices to give themselves and their friends franchises, public school contractors ripping off the city with high bids and incomplete work, attempts to take the smell out of the Fulton Fish Market, long controlled by gangster elements.
As chaplain he watched in anguish as the British were defeated. He saw the church fall into disrepute and many of its members flee to Nova Scotia and back to England. But Seabury did not think of retreating; he considered himself an American, even though he still respected his pledge to church and crown. When Seabury returned to New Haven, the place of his imprisonment, it was as the first bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church. That he was a devout and sympathetic pastor had been proved by his long and impoverished years of service to his parishioners.
There was talk of his running for President; privately, he dreamed of capturing the Democratic nomination for him-selfin effect, stealing it from Roosevelt. But lightning did not strike. He declined invitations to run for mayor himself and insisted that the candidate be a fiery reformer on a Fusion ticket who despised Tammany as much as he didFiorello H. La Guardia, the Little Flower. Corruptio optimi pessimathe greatest evil is the good corrupted. That is the lesson behind the Seabury investigations of corruption in New York City.