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The dead of the Cities: Steffens on city Blight

In the 1890s, transforms in printing an innovation made feasible inexpensive magazines that could appeal come a more comprehensive and increasingly much more literate middle-class audience. Provided the reform impulses renowned in the early 20th century, plenty of of these magazines featured reform-oriented investigative report that came to be known together “muckraking” (so named by president Theodore Roosevelt after ~ the muckrake in Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s progression who could “look no means but downward, through a muckrake in his hands”). In October 1902 McClure’s Magazine published what many take into consideration the an initial muckraking article, Lincoln Steffens" “Tweed work in St. Louis.” The “muckrakers” wrote on numerous subjects, such as kid labor, prisons, religion, corporations, and insurance companies. But urban politics corruption continued to be a an especially popular target, and in 1904 Steffens collected and published his works on St. Louis, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, and brand-new York together The shame of the Cities. The Introduction, below, argued his in its entirety conclusions around political corruption.

Introductionand some ConclusionsThis is not a book. It is a repertoire of articles reprinted indigenous McClure’s Magazine. Done together journalism, they room journalism still, and also no more pretensions are collection up for them in their brand-new dress. This group may seem pretentious enough; definitely it would certainly if I have to confess what insurance claims I do for mine profession. However no matter around that; I firmly insist upon the journalism. And also there is mine justification for separating native the bound quantities of the magazine and republishing, nearly without re-editing, mine accounts together a reporter that the dead of American cities.They to be written through a purpose, they were, published serially with a purpose, and also they are reprinted now together to further that exact same purpose, i m sorry was and also is—to sound because that the civic pride the an supposedly shameless citizenship.There must be together a thing, us reasoned. Every our large boasting might not be empty vanity, nor our pious pretensions hollow sham. American success in science, art, and business median sound abilities at bottom, and our hypocrisy a race sense of an essential ethics. Also in government we have offered proofs the potential greatness, and our politics failures are not complete; castle are merely ridiculous. Yet they room ours. No alone the triumphs and also the statesmen, the defeats and the grafters also represent us, and also just as truly. Why not view it so and say it?Because, i heard, the American people won’t “stand for” it. You might blame the politicians, or, indeed, any kind of one class, yet not all classes, no the people. Or you might put the on the ignorant foreign immigrant, or any kind of one nationality, but not on all nationalities, not on the American people. But no one course is in ~ fault, nor any kind of one breed, no one any details interest or group of interests. The misgovernment of the American world is misgovernment through the American people.When I set out on my travels, an honest brand-new Yorker called me honestly that ns would uncover that the Irish, the Catholic Irish, were at the bottom of it every everywhere. The very first city I went to was St. Louis, a German city. The following was Minneapolis, a Scandinavian city, through a management of brand-new Englanders. Then came Pittsburgh, Scotch Presbyterian, and that to be what my new York girlfriend was. “Ah, but they are all international populations,” i heard. The following city was Philadelphia, the pure American community of all, and the many hopeless. And after that came Chicago and new York, both mongrel-bred, but the one a triumph of reform, the other the ideal example of good government the I had actually seen. The “foreign element” excuse is among the hypocritical lies that save us from the clear sight of ourselves.Another such conceit of ours egotism is that which deplores our politics and also lauds our business. This is the wailof the common American citizen. Now, the common American citizens is the service man. The typical company man is a poor citizen; that is busy. If the is a “big service man” and very busy, the does not neglect, that is busy with politics, oh, really busy and very businesslike. I discovered him buying boodlers in St. Louis, defending grafters in Minneapolis, originating corruption in Pittsburgh, sharing through bosses in Philadelphia, deploring revolutionary in Chicago, and also beating good government v corruption funds in new York. That is a self-righteous fraud, this huge business man. That is the chief resource of corruption, and also it to be a boon if that would ignore politics. Yet he is not the organization man the neglects politics; that worthy is the an excellent citizen, the typical business man. He as well is busy, he is the one that has no use and therefore no time for politics. Once his neglect has actually permitted bad government to walk so much that he can be stirred to action, that is unhappy, and also he looks around for a cure the shall be quick, so the he may hurry earlier to the shop. Naturally, too, as soon as he talks politics, he speak shop. His patent remedy is quack; it is business.“Give united state a organization man,” he claims (“like me,” that means). “Let him introduce service methods into politics and also government; then i shall be left alone to attend to my business.”There is hardly an office indigenous United states Senator down to Alderman in any component of the nation to i beg your pardon the business man has not been elected; yet politics remains corrupt, government pretty bad, and the selfish citizen needs to hold self in readiness favor the old volunteer firemen to rush forth at any type of hour, in any kind of weather, to avoid the fire; and also he goes out sometimes and he puts the end the fire (after the damages is done) and he goes earlier to the shop sighing for the company man in politics. The service man has actually failed in national politics as he has in citizenship. Why?Because national politics is business. That’s what’s the issue with it. That’s what’s the issue with everything—art, literature, religion, journalism, law, medicine,—they’re all business, and also all—as you see them. Make politics a sport, as they do in England, or a profession, together they do in Germany, and also we’ll have—well, something else 보다 we have actually now, if we desire it, which is one more question. However don’t try to reform politics with the banker, the lawyer, and also the dry-goods merchant, for these are company men and also there space two an excellent hindrances to their success of reform: one is the they are various from, yet no better than, the politicians; the various other is that politics is not “their line.” There are exceptions both ways. Plenty of politicians have gone out into business and also done well (Tammany ex-mayors, and almost all the old bosses that Philadelphia are influential financiers in their cities), and business males have entered politics and also done fine (Mark Hanna, because that example). Lock haven’t reformed their embraced trades, however, despite they have sometimes sharpened them most pointedly. The politician is a service man v a specialty. Once a service man that some other line to learn the company of politics, the is a politician, and also there is not lot reform left in him. Consider the United states Senate, and also believe me.The commercial soul is the spirit of profit, not patriotism; that credit, not honor; of individual gain, not nationwide prosperity; of trade and dickering, not principle. “My company is sacred,” claims the organization man in his heart. “Whatever prospers mine business, is good; it must be. Every little thing hinders it, is wrong; it must be. A bribe is bad, the is, that is a negative thing come take; yet it is not so poor to offer one, not if the is vital to mine business.” "Business is business“ is not a politics sentiment, yet our politician has recorded it. He takes essentially the same view the the bribe, only he conserves his self-respect by piling every his contempt upon the bribe-giver, and he has the great advantage that candor. ”It is wrong, maybe,“ he says, ”but if a rich seller can afford come do company with me for the services of a convenience or to rise his already an excellent wealth, I have the right to afford, because that the sake of a living, to fulfill him fifty percent way. I make no pretensions to virtue, not also on Sunday." and also as for giving bad government or good, how around the seller who gives negative goods or good goods, according to the demand?But over there is hope, not alone despair, in the commercialism of our politics. If our politics leaders room to be constantly a many political merchants, they will supply any kind of demand we may create. Every we need to do is to develop a steady demand for an excellent government. The bosses have us break-up up into parties. Come him parties room nothing but way to his corruption ends. That “bolts” his party, but we need to not; the bribe-giver transforms his party, from one election to another, indigenous one county to another, from one city come another, but the honest voter must not. Why? due to the fact that if the moral voter cared no much more for his party 보다 the politician and also the grafter, climate the moral vote would govern, and that would certainly be bad—for graft. It is idiotic, this devotion to a maker that is provided to take it our sovereignty native us. If we would certainly leave parties to the politicians, and also would vote no for the party, not even for men, yet for the city, and also the State, and also the nation, we should preeminence parties, and also cities, and States, and also nation. If we would vote in mass on the much more promising ticket, or, if the two room equally bad, would throw out the party that is in, and wait it spins the next election and also then throw out the other party that is in—then, ns say, the advertising politician would certainly feel a need for good government and he would certainly supply it. That procedure would take a generation or more to complete, for the politicians now really do not understand what great government is. Yet it has actually taken as lengthy to develop negative government, and the politicians understand what that is. If it would not “go,” lock would market something else, and, if the demand were steady, they, gift so commercial, would “deliver the goods.”But perform the world want an excellent government? Tammany claims they don’t. Space the human being honest? are the people better than Tammany? space they better than the merchant and the politician? Isn’t our corrupt government, after ~ all, representative?President Roosevelt has actually been sneered at for going around the country preaching, as a cure because that our American evils, an excellent conduct in the individual, simple honesty, courage, and efficiency. “Platitudes” the advanced say. Platitudes? If mine observations have been true, the literal adoption of Mr. Roosevelt’s reform system would an outcome in a revolution, much more radical and also terrible come existing institutions, native the congress to the Church, indigenous the bank to the ward organization, than socialism or even than anarchy. Why, that would change all of us—not alone our neighbors, no alone the grafters, yet you and also me.No, the contemned techniques of ours despised national politics are the understand methods of our braggart business, and the corruption that shocks us in public affairs we practice ourselves in our private concerns. There is no essential difference between the pull that gets your wife into society or because that your book a favorable review, and that which gets a heeler right into office, a thief out of jail, and also a wealthy man’s kid on the plank of directors of a corporation; none in between the corruption that a job union, a bank, and a politics machine; none in between a dummy director the a trust and also the caucus-bound member of a legislature; none in between a labor boss like Sam Parks, a boss of banks like man D. Rockefeller, a boss of railroads like J. P. Morgan, and also a political boss choose Matthew S. Quay. The boss is not a political, that is an American institution, the product of a freed civilization that have not the spirit to be free.And it’s all a ethical weakness; a weakness right where us think we room strongest. Oh, we are good—on Sunday, and we space “fearfully patriotic” top top the fourth of July. But the bribe we pay come the janitor to prefer our interests to the landlord’s, is the tiny brother of the bribe passed to the alderman to sell a city street, and the dad of the air-brake share assigned to the chairman of a railroad to have actually this life-saving invention embraced on his road. And also as for graft, rail passes, saloon and also bawdy-house blackmail, and watered stock, all these belong come the exact same family. We are pathetically proud of our autonomous institutions and also our republican form of government, of our grand Constitution and our simply laws. We space a complimentary and sovereign people, we govern ourselves and also the federal government is ours. Yet that is the point. We room responsible, no our leaders, due to the fact that we monitor them. We let them divert our loyalty from the United says to some “party”; us let them ceo the party and turn our municipal democracies into autocracies and our republican nation into a plutocracy. Us cheat our government and we let our leader loot it, and also we let them wheedle and also bribe our sovereignty native us. True, they happen for us strict laws, but we space content come let lock pass also bad laws, offering away public property in exchange; and also our good, and also often impossible, legislations we enable to be used for oppression and blackmail. And also what deserve to we say? us break our very own laws and also rob our very own government, the lady in ~ the customhouse, the lyncher through his rope, and also the captain of market with his bribe and his rebate. The heart of graft and also of lawlessness is the American spirit.And this shall not be said? no plainly? william Travers Jerome, the fearless ar Attorney of new York, says, “You have the right to say anything girlfriend think to the American people. If girlfriend are ethical with yourself you might be honest with them, and they will forgive not only your candor, but your mistakes.” This is the opinion, and the endure too, of an ethical man and a positive democrat. Who claims the other things? Who claims “Hush,” and “What’s the use?” and “ALL’S well,” as soon as all is rotten? the is the grafter; the coward, too, yet the grafter inspires the coward. The doctrine of “addition, division, and also silence” is the theory of graft. “Don’t pains the party,” "Spare the fair fame of the city,“ room boodle yells. The 4th of July oration is the ”front“ that graft. Over there is no patriotism in it, yet treason. That is part of the game. The grafters call for cheers because that the flag, ”prosperity,“ and also ”the party,“ just as a highway man regulates ”hands up,“ and also while we space waving and shouting, lock float the flag indigenous the country to the party, revolve both into graft factories, and also prosperity right into a speculative boom to make ”weak hands,“ together the wall surface Street phrase has it, organize the watered stock while the solid hands as the wall surface Street phrase has actually it, hold the watered stock while the solid hands store the property. ”Blame us, blame anybody, yet praise the people," this, the politician’s advice, is no the counsel of respect because that the people, however of contempt. By simply such palavering as courtiers play upon the degenerate intellects that weak kings, the bosses, political, financial, and also industrial, room befuddling and also befooling our sovereign American citizenship; and—likewise they are corrupting it.And that is corruptible, this citizenship. “I know what Parks is doing,” said a new York union workman, “but what execute I care. He has actually raised my wages. Let him have his graft!” and also the Philadelphia vendor says the very same thing: “The party leaders might be getting more than they have to out the the city, however that doesn’t pains me. It might raise taxes a little, yet I deserve to stand that. The party keeps increase the security tariff. If the were reduced down, my service would be ruined. So lengthy as the party stands beat on that, ns stand play on the party.”The world are not innocent. The is the only “news” in all the journalism of these articles, and no doubt the was not brand-new to many observers. It to be to me. Once I set out to define the corrupt equipment of details typical cities, I expected to present simply how the human being were deceived and also betrayed. Yet in the very first study—St. Louis—the startling reality lay bare that corruption was not simply political; it was financial, commercial, social; the implications of boodle were so complex, various, and far-reaching, the one mind could hardly understand them, and also not also Joseph W. Folk, the tireless prosecutor, can follow castle all. This state of things was shown in the very first article i m sorry Claude H. Wetmore and also I compiled together, but it was not displayed plainly enough. Mr. Wetmore lived in St. Louis, and also he had actually respect for names which meant small to me, yet when ns went alongside Minneapolis alone, I might see much more independently, without respect because that persons, and there were traces that the same phenomenon. The very first St. Louis short article was called “Tweed days in St. Louis,” and though the “better citizen” got attention the Tweeds were the center of interest. In “The shame of Minneapolis,” the truth was put right into the title; it was the dead of Minneapolis; no of the Ames administration, no of the Tweeds, but of the city and its citizens. And yet Minneapolis was not virtually so bad as St. Louis; police graft is never so universal as boodle. The is much more shocking, but it is so filthy the it cannot involve so huge a component of society. So I returned to St. Louis, and I discussed the entirety ground again, v the civilization in mind, no alone the caught and convicted boodlers. And also this time the true definition of “Tweed work in St. Louis” was made plain. The short article was referred to as “The Shamelessness the St. Louis,” and also that was the load of the story. In Pittsburgh likewise the civilization was the subject, and also though the civic spirit there was better, the level of the corruption transparent the social organization of the community was indicated. But it was no till I acquired to Philadelphia that the possibilities of popular corruption were cleared up to the limit of humiliating confession. That was the ar for together a study. There is nothing like it in the country, except possibly, in Cincinnati. Philadelphia definitely is not simply corrupt, however corrupted, and also this to be made clear. Philadelphia to be charged increase to—the American citizen.It was difficult in the an are of a magazine post to cover in any kind of one city every the phases the municipal government, so I made decision cities that typified most strikingly some particular phase or phases. For this reason as St. Louis exemplified boodle; Minneapolis, police graft; Pittsburgh, a political and also industrial machine; and Philadelphia, general public corruption; therefore Chicago was an illustration of reform, and new York of an excellent government. Every these things occur in many of these places. Over there are, and long have actually been, reformers in St. Louis, and also there is to-day police graft there. Minneapolis has had boodling and also council reform, and also boodling is breaking the end there again. Pittsburg has general corruption, and Philadelphia a very perfect political machine. Chicago has actually police graft and also a short order the administrative and also general corruption i beg your pardon permeates business, labor, and culture generally. As for brand-new York, the metropolis could exemplify virtually anything the occurs almost everywhere in American cities, but no city has had for countless years such a great administration as was that of market Seth Low.That i beg your pardon I have made each city was standing for, is the which it had actually most highly developed. It would certainly be absurd to seek for arranged reform in St. Louis, because that example, through Chicago next door; or for graft in Chicago v Minneapolis so near. ~ Minneapolis, a description of governmental corruption in Chicago would have actually seemed choose a repetition; perhaps it was not just to treat just the conspicuous element in every situation. Yet why need to I it is in just? i was not judging; i arrogated to myself no such function. Ns was not writing about Chicago because that Chicago, but for the various other cities, so ns picked out what irradiate each had actually for the instruction of the others. But, if i was never complete, I never exaggerated. Every among those articles was one understatement, particularly where the conditions were bad, and the evidence thereof is the while each write-up seemed to astonish other cities, that disappointed the city which to be its subject. Thus my girlfriend in Philadelphia, who knew what there to be to know, and those particularly who knew what i knew, expressed surprise that i reported for this reason little. And also one St. Louis newspaper stated that “the facts were thrown in ~ me and I dropped down over them.” there was fact in this flings. I reduced twenty thousand words out of the Philadelphia article and then had actually not written fifty percent my facts. I understand a guy who is making a background of the corrupt construction of the Philadelphia City Hall, in 3 volumes, and also he grieves because he lacks space. You can’t put all the known occurrences of the corruption of one American city into a book.This is all very unscientific, yet then, i am not a scientist. I am a journalist. Ns did not gather with indifference every the facts and arrange lock patiently for permanent preservation and also laboratory analysis. Ns did not want to preserve, I wanted to ruin the facts. My purpose was no more scientific than the soul of my investigation and reports; the was, as I claimed above, to see if the shameful facts, spread out in all your shame, would not burn with our civic shamelessness and set fire to American pride. That was the journalism of it. I wanted to move and also to convince. The is why ns was no interested in all the facts, seek none that was new, and rejected half those the were old. I often was request to expose something suspected. Ns couldn’t; and why must I? Exposure that the unknown was no my purpose. The people: what castle will put up with, exactly how they are fooled, just how cheaply they are bought, exactly how dearly sold, how conveniently intimidated, and also how led, for great or because that evil—that to be the inquiry, and so the significant facts were those only which because that evil—that was the inquiry, and also so the far-ranging facts to be those only which anyone in every city knew, and of these, only those i m sorry everybody in every various other town would recognize, from their common knowledge of together things, to be probable. However these, understated, were charged constantly to the guilty people when individuals were to blame, and finally lugged home to the human being themselves, who, having the power, have also the responsibility, they and also those castle respect, and also those that guide them.This was against all the warnings and also rules that demagogy. What was the result?After Joseph W. People had explored and also exposed, v convictions, the boodling the St. Louis, the rings brought an election. “Tweed job in St. Louis” is claimed to have formed some publicly sentiment versus the boodlers, but the neighborhood newspapers had more to execute with that 보다 McClure’s Magazine. ~ the Minneapolis cool jury had actually exposed and the courts had tried and also the common juries had convicted the grafters there, an election verified that public opinion was formed. Yet that one election was concerned as final. Once I went over there the men who had actually led the reform motion were “all through.” after they had read the “Shame of Minneapolis,” however, castle went ago to work, and also they have perfected a plan to keep the citizens informed and to proceed the struggle for good government. Lock saw, these unambitious, busy citizens, the it to be “up to them,” and also they resumed the unwelcome duties of your citizenship. The resentment there was really little. In ~ a conference of leading citizens over there were ethical speeches suggesting that something should be stated to “clear the surname of Minneapolis,” but one male rose and said an extremely pleasantly, but firmly, that the post was true; it to be pretty hard on them, but it was true and also they every knew it. That ended that.When I went back to St. Louis and rewrote the facts, and, in rewriting, made them simply as insulting together the reality would permit, my friends there expressed dismay end the manuscript. The short article would ache Mr. Folk; it would hurt the cause; it would arouse renowned wrath.“That to be what ns hoped it would do,” i said.“But the indignation would break upon Folk and reform, not on the boodlers,” lock said.“Wasn’t that obvious,” i asked, “that this very title, ‘Shamelessness,’ to be aimed in ~ pride; that it implied a confidence that there was self-respect to be touched and also shame to be moved?”That was too subtle. So i answered the if they had actually no faith in the town, ns had, and anyway, if ns was wrong and the people should resent, no the crime, however the exposure the it, then they would certainly punish, not Mr. Folk, who had nothing to carry out with the article, but the magazine and also me. Newspaper males warned me the they would certainly not “stand for” the article, yet would assault it. I answered that I would certainly let the St. Louisans decide between us. It to be true, it to be just; the civilization of St. Luigi had displayed no shame. Below was a great chance to check out whether they had any. I was a fool, lock said. “All right,” ns replied. “All kings had fools in the olden days, and also the stupid were enabled to tell castle the truth. I would play the fool come the American people.”The article, published, was assaulted by the newspapers; girlfriend of Mr. Individual repudiated it; Mr. Individual himself speak up because that the people. Leading citizens elevated money because that a mass conference to “set the city right prior to the world.” The mayor of the city, a most great man, who had actually helped me, denounced the article. The boodle party platform appealed for votes on the toughness of the attacks in “Eastern magazines.” The civilization themselves contradicted me; after the publication, 2 hundred thousands buttons because that “Folk and also Reform” were worn ~ above the streets of St. Louis.But those buttons were because that “Folk and Reform.” lock did walk to prove that the article was wrong, the there was pride in St. Louis, however they proved additionally that that pride had actually been touched. As much as that time no one knew exactly how St. Luigi felt about it all. There had actually been one election, an additional was pending, and also the boodlers, recorded or to it is in caught, to be in control. The citizens had made no move to dislodge them. Mr. Folk’s splendid labors were a spectacle there is no a chorus, and, despite I had met males who called me the civilization were v Folk, I had met also the grafters, who cursed just Folk and also were building all their really hopes on the assumption that “after Folk’s term” all would be fine again. In between these two neighborhood views no outsider can choose. How could I review a strange people’s hearts? ns took the exterior view, stated the facts both ways,—the ideal verdicts the the juries and also the confident plans that the boodlers,—and the result was, indeed, a shameless state the affairs for which St. Louis, the world of St. Louis, were to blame.And they experienced it so, both in the city and also in the State, and also they ceased to be spectators. That write-up simply got down come the self-respect that this people. And who to be hurt? no St. Louis. From that minute the city has been determined and also active, and also boodle seems to be doomed. No Mr. Folk. After ~ that, his nomination for branch of the State was asserted for by the people, that formed individual clubs anywhere the State to pressure him ~ above his party and theirs, and thus insure the search of the boodlers in St. Louis and also in Missouri too. Nor to be the magazine hurt, or myself. The next time I checked out St. Louis, the an extremely men who had raised money because that the mass meeting to denounce the write-up went out of their method to say to me that I had actually been right, the article was true, and also they asked me to “do that again.” And there may be a opportunity to perform it again. Mr. Folk lifted the lid off Missouri for a minute after that, and the State also appeared ripe because that the gathering. Moreover, the boodlers the State and also city have joined come beat the people and keep castle down. The decisive choice is not till the loss of 1904, and the boodlers count lot on the fickleness of publicly opinion. However I think that Missouri and St. Louis with each other will prove then, when for all, that the world can rule when they room aroused.The Pittsburgh post had no impact in Pittsburgh, nor had that on Philadelphia any kind of results in Philadelphia. Nor was any kind of expected there. Pittsburgh, as I stated in the article, knew itself, and also may pull the end of that is disgrace, yet Philadelphia is contented and seems hopeless. The accounts of them, however, and also indeed, together I have said, every one of the series, were written, no for the urban described, however for every our cities, and also the most immediate response came from places not mentioned, yet where comparable evils exist or comparable action was needed. Thus, Chicago, will on the troubles, discovered useless to it the examine of that reform, which appears to have actually been suggestive elsewhere, and Philadelphia, “Corrupt and Contented,” to be taken residence in various other cities and seems to have made the many lasting impression everywhere.But of course the tangible results are few. The genuine triumph that the year’s occupational was the complete demonstration it has given, in a thousand tiny ways, the our shamelessness is superficial, the beneath that lies a proud which, gift real, may save us yet. And it is real. The grafters who claimed you might put the reference anywhere but on the people, where it belongs, and that Americans can be relocated only by flattery—they lied. They lied around themselves. They, too, are American citizens; castle too, room of the people; and some of them likewise were reached by shame. The great truth ns tried to make level was that which Mr. Individual insists therefore constantly upon: the bribery is no plain felony, however treason, the the “corruption which division out here and there and also now and also then” is no an occasional offense, however a usual practice, and also that the impact of the is accurate to adjust the form of our government from one that is representative that the human being to one oligarchy, representative of one-of-a-kind interests. Some politicians have seen the this is so, and it bothers them. Ns think i prize an ext highly than any kind of other of my experiences the half-dozen times as soon as grafting politicians I had “roasted,” as they put it, referred to as on me afterwards to say, in the politicians I had actually “roasted,” as they placed it, called on me afterwards to say, in the words of one that spoke through a wonderful solemnity:“You space right. I never ever thought that it the way, but it’s right. Ns don’t recognize whether you have the right to do anything, but you’re right, dead right. And I’m every wrong. We’re all, all wrong. I don’t see exactly how we deserve to stop that now; ns don’t see just how I can change. Ns can’t, i guess. No, ns can’t, no now. But, say, I might be maybe to help you, and I will certainly if i can. You can have something I’ve got.”So you see, they are not such poor fellows, these valuable politicians. I wish I might tell an ext about them: exactly how they have actually helped me; exactly how candidly and unselfishly they have assisted me come facts and also an knowledge of the facts, which, as I warned them, as they knew well, were to be used against them. If ns could—and I will some day—I should present that one of the surest wishes we have is the politician himself. Ask the for an excellent politics; punish him once he gives bad, and reward him once he provides good; make politics pay. Now, the says, friend don’t know and you don’t care, and also that you need to be flattered and fooled—and there, ns say, the is wrong. Ns did no flatter anybody; ns told the fact as near as I could get it, and also instead the resentment there to be encouragement. After ~ “The shame of Minneapolis,” and also “The Shamelessness that St. Louis,” not just did citizens of these urban approve. But citizens of other cities, individuals, groups, and also organizations, sent out in invitations, numerous them, “to come and show united state up; we’re worse 보다 they are.”We americans may have failed. We may be mercenary and also selfish.

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Democracy through us may be impossible and also corruption inevitable, yet these articles, if they have actually proved naught else, have demonstrated past doubt that we deserve to stand the truth; the there is pride in the personality of American citizenship; and that this pride might be a power in the land. For this reason this little volume, a document of shame and also yet of self-respe

Source: Lincoln Steffens, The shame of the cities (New York: McClure, Philips & Co., 1904), 1–18.