The Day Wall Street Exploded A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror

Edition: Reprint
Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2010-09-13
Publisher(s): Oxford University Press
List Price: $22.39

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Customer Reviews

A forgotten piece of American history  May 24, 2011
Rating StarRating StarRating StarRating StarRating Star

Well, I am pleased to say that this textbook is certainly one of the most outstanding books that I have read. If you are interested in this time period this is a great textbook. If you want to see that people have not changed much in 80 years when it comes to reacting to terrorism read this textbook. This is an informative, entertaining textbook that is a must for anyone interested in American history.

The Day Wall Street Exploded A Story of America in Its First Age of Terror: 5 out of 5 stars based on 1 user reviews.


Just after noon on September 16, 1920, as hundreds of workers poured onto Wall Street for their lunchtime break, a horse-drawn cart packed with dynamite exploded in a spray of metal and fire, turning the busiest corner of the financial center into a war zone. Thirty-nine people died and hundreds more lay wounded, making the Wall Street explosion the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history until the Oklahoma City bombing.

In The Day Wall Street Exploded, Beverly Gage tells the story of that once infamous but now largely forgotten event. Based on thousands of pages of Bureau of Investigation reports, this historical detective saga traces the four-year hunt for the perpetrators, a worldwide effort that spread as far as Italy and the new Soviet nation. It also gives readers the decades-long but little-known history of homegrown terrorism that helped to shape American society a century ago. The book delves into the lives of victims, suspects, and investigators: world banking power J.P. Morgan, Jr.; labor radical "Big Bill" Haywood; anarchist firebrands Emma Goldman and Luigi Galleani; "America's Sherlock Holmes," William J. Burns; even a young J. Edgar Hoover. It grapples as well with some of the most controversial events of its day, including the rise of the Bureau of Investigation, the federal campaign against immigrant "terrorists," the grassroots effort to define and protect civil liberties, and the establishment of anti-communism as the sine qua non of American politics.

Many Americans saw the destruction of the World Trade Center as the first major terrorist attack on American soil, an act of evil without precedent. The Day Wall Street Exploded reminds us that terror, too, has a history.

Praise for the hardcover:

"Outstanding."-New York Times Book Review

"Ms. Gage is a storyteller...she leaves it to her readers to draw their own connections as they digest her engaging narrative."-The New York Times

"Brisk, suspenseful and richly documented"-The Chicago Tribune

"An uncommonly intelligent, witty and vibrant account. She has performed a real service in presenting such a complicated case in such a fair and balanced way."-San Francisco Chronicle

Author Biography

Beverly Gage teaches U.S. history at Yale University. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Chicago Tribune,, The Nation, and The Washington Post. She has been featured as a guest commentator on the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and in Time magazine.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
September 16, 1920
The Middle of Thingsp. 11
The End of the Worldp. 31
The Story of Dynamite
The First Terrorist Act in Americap. 41
American Roughneckp. 69
The War at Homep. 96
A National Crime
The Great Detectivesp. 125
Business as Usualp. 150
Usual Suspectsp. 169
A Perfect Alibip. 187
Faccia a Faccia
The Anarchist Fightersp. 207
Illegal Practicesp. 229
The Martyr Who Wasn'tp. 242
The Russian Connection
The "Great Detective" Returnsp. 261
Triple-Crossp. 277
The Wall Street Cursep. 291
The Roar of the Twentiesp. 309
Appendix: In Memoriamp. 329
Acknowledgmentsp. 331
Note on Sourcesp. 333
Abbreviations Used in Notesp. 335
Notesp. 339
Indexp. 387
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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