Hot Time in the Old Town by Edward P. Kohn
The Great Heat Wave of 1896 and the Making of Theodore Roosevelt

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Synopsis

One of the worst natural disasters in American history, the 1896 New York heat wave killed almost 1,500 people in ten oppressively hot days. The heat coincided with a pitched presidential contest between William McKinley and the upstart Democrat William Jennings Bryan, who arrived in New York City at the height of the catastrophe. As historian Edward P. Kohn shows, Bryan’s hopes for the presidency began to flag amidst the abhorrent heat just as a bright young police commissioner named Theodore Roosevelt was scrambling to mitigate the dangerously high temperatures by hosing down streets and handing out ice to the poor.

A vivid narrative that captures the birth of the progressive era, Hot Time in the Old Town revives the forgotten disaster that almost destroyed a great American city.

 

About Edward P. Kohn

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Edward P. Kohn is assistant professor of American History and Chair of the American Culture and Literature Department at Bilkent University. His previous works include This Kindred People. He lives in Ankara, Turkey.
 
Published July 16, 2010 by Basic Books. 306 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Hot Time in the Old Town

Kirkus Reviews

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Roosevelt was deeply affected by the human suffering he observed during the heat wave, Kohn writes, speculating that it may have informed his progressive policies as president.

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The Wall Street Journal

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Hundreds of deaths, cops delivering ice and a horse carcass on most streets.

Jul 28 2010 | Read Full Review of Hot Time in the Old Town: The...

City Book Review

Kohn brings to life the struggles of the common working man, the overcrowding in New York City, which had doubled in population in fifteen years, and the political atmosphere as William Jennings Bryan squared off against William McKinley.

Nov 25 2011 | Read Full Review of Hot Time in the Old Town: The...

St. Louis Today

Edwardsville will take on guard-oriented Stevenson in first state trip since '06 Cahokia keeping it cool, eyeing a championship in rare trip to state final four De Smet PG Barton has drive to deliver De Smet back to state tournament Entertainment ...

Aug 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Hot Time in the Old Town: The...

Portland Book Review

The political themes serve a purpose to those readers still enchanted by politics, but less to the rest of us beyond giving the heat wave a time frame and a context.

Jan 31 2012 | Read Full Review of Hot Time in the Old Town: The...

The Roanoke Times

The heat wave and Bryan’s political demise also set the stage for the national political career of Theodore Roosevelt.

Aug 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Hot Time in the Old Town: The...

Reader Rating for Hot Time in the Old Town
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