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1. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall (Dodo
$10.95
2. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Politician's
$87.99
3. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
 
$34.99
4. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
5. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
$20.00
6. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall; A Series
7. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
8. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series
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9. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
10. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
 
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11. Honest Graft : The World of George
 
12. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A series
 
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13. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series
 
14. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall;: A series
 
15. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series
 
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16. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series
 
17. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series
 
18. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall - a Series
19. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series
 
20. HONEST GRAFT THE WORLD OF GEORGE

1. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall (Dodo Press)
by George Washington Plunkitt
Paperback: 86 Pages (2009-07-03)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$7.96
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Asin: 1409963128
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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George Washington Plunkitt (1842-1924) was a long-time State Senator from the U. S. state of New York, representing the Fifteenth Assembly District, who was especially powerful in New York City. He was part of what is known as New York's Tammany Hall machine. He was a cynically honest practitioner of what today is generally known as "machine politics, " patronage-based and frank in its exercise of power for personal gain. In one of his speeches, quoted in Plunkitt of Tammany Hall (1905), he describes the difference between dishonest and honest graft as working solely for one's own interests and working for the interests of one's party, state, and personal interest whenever they can. Plunkitt was also a big party man, believing in appointments, patronage, spoils, and all of the corrupt practices that were curtailed by the civil service law. He saw such practices as both the rewards and cause of patriotism. He hated the civil service system that he believed would be the downfall of the entire United States governmental system. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars The Blessings of Corruption
Forty-two years ago this book, or what was then titled "Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft" by George Plunkitt, was assigned reading for me as an undergraduate political science major.I recall it as the reading highlight of my early academic career.In short, this thing is a real hoot.Plunkitt was a crony of the infamous William M. "Boss" Tweeed who created and presided over a Democrat, ward based patronage form of government in the City of New York in the mid to late 19th century referred to then as and now "Tammany Hall".Plunkitt was one of his side-kicks who participated in all of the perks of office and had the ability to discuss his "work" with justifications worthy of the best wit of Mark Twain.It is no coincidence that this little jewel of amateur literature has remained in print for over 100 years.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Political Classic
I read this book when I was in college in the 60's and I was never quite sure if it was real or satire.Many years later I was watching an interview of Pat Brown, former governor of California, and when the interviewer asked him what advice he might offer to young people interested in entering politics, he spoke as he were quoting directly from the chapter of Plunkitt devoted to "The Curse of Civil Service Reform."In other words, it is not satire.It provides an entertaining if somewhat discouraging description of why politics is driven by money and why reformers are merely a flash in the pan.Another topic covered in the book, "The difference between honest graft and dishonest graft" is equally alive and well among modern politicians.A modern politician accused of exactly the type of real estate speculation Plunkitt uses as his example of "honest" graft occurred just a few years ago.The politician sat on a committee that determined the site of government project and bought up the land before the project was revealed to the public.When confronted his response was, "I didn't break any laws."As Plunkitt would have said, he was only practcing honest graft. ... Read more


2. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Politician's View on "Honest Graft" in Politics (Timeless Classic Books)
by George Washington Plunkitt
Paperback: 84 Pages (2010-09-23)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$10.95
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Asin: 1453833986
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Born in 1843, George Washington Plunkitt was a long-time State Senator from New York.He was part of what is known as New York's Tammany Hall machine.Plunkitt became wealthy by practicing what he called "honest graft" in politics. He was a cynically honest practitioner of what today is generally known as "machine politics," frank in its exercise of power for personal gain.In one of his speeches in this book, he describes the difference between dishonest and honest graft: for dishonest graft one worked solely for one's own interests, while for honest graft one pursued the interests of one's party, one's state, and one's personal interests all together.The positive side of machine politics, as Plunkitt saw it, was the closeness between political bosses and their constituencies. He cites how Tammany bosses such as himself would assist the poor of New York in immediate and necessary ways (such as by providing emergency loans) while others, such as social reformers and the federal government, would only push for long-term improvements in the situation of the urban poor. Similarly, he argues that the machine listened to and defended the poor while others regarded them from a distanced, patronizing point of view. Thus, Plunkitt regarded the fragmented and independent format of machine governance to be the most perfect form of urban administration possible. ... Read more


3. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
by George Washington Plunkitt
Paperback: 110 Pages (2002-07-25)
list price: US$87.99 -- used & new: US$87.99
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Asin: 1404325433
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4. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
by Washington George Plunkitt
 Paperback: 112 Pages (2008-05-12)
list price: US$34.99 -- used & new: US$34.99
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Asin: 1437815898
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5. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
by George Washington Plunkitt
Kindle Edition: 64 Pages (2006-01-26)
list price: US$5.99
Asin: B000FCKNA0
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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EVERYBODY is talkin' these days about Tammany men growin' rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin' the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There's all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in politics. I have myself. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (25)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better Than Fiction......
You would thinki this book was fiction and almost hope it was fiction, but as you look at many of our politicians it is not.A short funny in a sad way look at corruption in politics.Very eye opening.I had never heard of this book before and I wish many people would read it.It explains a lot!

5-0 out of 5 stars The old is new again
Plunkitt was a 19th century New York politician who spoke with unabashed joy about the merits of big city political machines.He believed that the "merit" system of government employment was the root of great evil.The local leaders knew best who needed and could do the various jobs of government.He argues for simply wsiting out one issue politicians (do gooders) as they would either suceed or fail but either way they would go away.Plunkett is not a man of our times but he was a pashionate character of another era and you have to love him.The book is funny and poinant, always a good combination.

3-0 out of 5 stars Explaining Practical Politics
George Washington Plunkitt (1842-1924) was one of the powers of Tammany Hall in the late 19th century. Plunkitt was born in a shantytown called Nanny Goat Hill and died wealthy and renowned. Newspaperman William L. Riordan recorded his conversations and preserved them. Most other leaders were cold reticent men who had little to say (p.ix). Tammany Hall, the name of a civic society, controlled the Democratic Party in New York city. They knew how to get power and hold on to it by getting people to vote for their candidates. Political power leads to personal wealth. Tammany governed NY from 1854 to 1934. The New Deal reforms of welfare and public housing socialized the benefits that had come from the patrons of Tammany Hall.

The `Introduction' by Arthur Mann is faulty. Mann claims "no room for machines" (p.xi) any good history book will tell how churches or other organizations controlled or influenced local municipal elections earlier. Ruling classes reflect the reality that the many can be influenced be the few through advertising or other propaganda. Most people in a church are influenced by their preacher, and those in a tavern can be influenced by an orator who tells them what they want to hear. The alternative is rule by an aristocracy or corporation through attorneys who act against the people to benefit the rulers. Professional politicians exist on state and federal level since Washington's time. Do they control the educational system to teach students to accept this and distrust challengers? The bias against Tammany Hall came from the wealthy gentry who were defeated by upstarts who best served popular opinion (p.xiv). Tammany Hall educated millions of immigrants about representative government (p.xix).

The `Preface' by William L. Riordan provides a short biography of G. W. Plunkitt. Plunkitt the politician introduced bills to create parks, the Washington Bridge, additions to the Museum of Natural History, and many important public improvements. Did Plunkitt's business benefit from this? Every public improvement benefits some business, directly or indirectly. Else we would have dirt roads and no sewers as in many rural areas today. The problem comes from unneeded inprovements ("graft jobs") where tax money is spent to benefit the few. Plunkitt explains what is usually censored in the press, or distorted for special interests. These 22 chapters vary in quality.

One chapter explains why reformers don't last. Politics is a regular business that needs experienced people. Plunkitt seldom discusses political issues but only the benefits of government. He is not an idealist (a type of emotion). Plunkitt complains that New York is taxed to provide benefits to the rest of the state. [Has that changed?] Each political party cooperates with the other. Civil Service was created to undermine the political parties and their organizations. [It makes them dependent on corporate support to this day.] Municipal ownership of utilities would benefit a city [lower rates]. Plunkitt compares a political organization to churches; both need money to exist. A candidate for office needs money for campaign expenses. [That still goes on even if a candidate gets the money from others.] A successful politician, like a saloon owner, does not drink. Political bosses prevent turmoil and squabbles. [They are opposed by those who wish to gain their power.] High taxes on saloon keepers creates lower-cost competition from "bucket-shops" that sell bootleg whiskey. [Prohibition, which was supposed to reduce crime and increase prosperity, did just the reverse.]
Tammany Hall built a huge building just before it went out of business. This recalls C. Northcote Parkinson's comment that a grandiose building usually marks the end of an entity.

1-0 out of 5 stars Did these reviewers actually OPEN the book?It's a MISPRINT!!
Garbage in, Garbage out.I ordered this for my cousin, who's going into politics, and was astounded, when I looked past the first page, to find that, rather than reading Plunkitt talking about a little "honest graft," I was instead reading GOBSECK, by de Balzac!

Oh, the cover says Plunkitt... but it's completely misprinted on the inside.How Amazon and the other reviewers missed this is beyond me.

4-0 out of 5 stars A 19th century political philosophy whose influence is, unfortunately, still felt
William L. Riordon's Plunkitt of Tammany Hall is the published political philosophy of George Washington Plunkitt, a well known "ward boss" of the Tammany Hall political machine for twenty-five years.From 1880 Plunkitt rode high in New York City politics until his defeat in the state Senatorial race in 1905, the same year of Riordon's publication.During his time in office Plunkitt grew in wealth and power by introducing bills, some good and some awful, but all beneficial to his bank account.Plunkitt came to represent for political reformers everything that was corrupt about the governmental structure; including the spoils system which they felt gave too much power to the parties.Likewise, Plunkitt lashed out at these reformers and often called Civil Service reform laws his worst enemy.

The Bedford Series in History and Culture edition of this work, however, adds many more voices to the discussion other than Plunkitt.The Introduction, by Terrence J. McDonald, establishes the historical context in which to read Riordon's book.McDonald explains the power of the Tammany machine and gives us insight into Plunkitt's beliefs, as how he came to political fruition during the infamous William "Boss" Tweed scandals in which party power was abused and grafting was widespread.This environment seems to have influenced the business ethic and personal gratification that would dominate Plunkitt's political outlook.The end of the book gives us further insight with primary document excerpts that include critics of the ward bosses, newspaper articles about Plunkitt after the book's publication, and biographies written by Tammany itself.

McDonald also points us to another voice prevalent though not easily apparent in Plunkitt of Tammany Hall, that of the author, William L. Riordon.Though the book claims to be a record of speeches and diary excerpts given by Plunkitt during a six-year period, McDonald asserts the belief that Riordon probably added many things himself, including the famous speech on honest and dishonest graft and even the diary entry at the end.Indeed, Plunkitt often references previous speeches as though they were made in a single night, rather than years before.Additionally, before the book was completed Plunkitt had suffered major political defeat, which Riordon curiously omits. Riordon, who was close to Tammany Hall and its leaders (though never a member), appears to have sympathized with Plunkitt.He credits Tammany's intimate knowledge of its voting base (likes and dislikes, etc.) and its use to benefit both voters and themselves as the overriding fuel of their longevity.The book opens with a preface listing Plunkitt's positive accomplishments, followed by a tribute to him by Charles F. Murphy, boss of the Tammany Democracy.Next is Plunkitt's first speech (its position chosen by Riordon, of course) in which Plunkitt admits he is a grafter, yes, but an honest one.It is arguments such as this that make Plunkitt, a man who sees the Irish as a master race fit to rule, such a colorful, often ridiculous character.

Not surprisingly, George Washington Plunkitt is a politician who thinks that one who serves the community is one who should benefit greatly in wealth.In fact, this seems to be the only reason he finds to go into politics.He so cannot separate money from public service that he regularly confuses greed with patriotism.For him, the only reason one would vote is to be rewarded materially by elected officials or to gain seats themselves through the spoils system.He feels that Civil Service reform, which fought to take the power to appoint jobs from parties, would so destroy the patriotism of the nation and that it would lead to treachery and rebellion, as though there were no other reason for citizens to vote.He tells of one story in which a young man was "chokful of patriotism" who was turned down for a government job when he failed the Civil Service examination and in turn "went to Cuba, enlisted in the Spanish army at the breakin' out of the war, and died fighting his country" on San Juan Hill (Riordon 57).

This is not the only instance in which Plunkitt uses sensationalism and fear to drive his point, not to mention a little rewriting of history.He does the latter several times, such as when he states "Of course you won't deny that the government was built up by great parties... that's history" (Riordon 56) although McDonald asserts "parties are not called for in the Constitution and did not even exist in anything like their contemporary form for the first thirty years or so after the Constitution was ratified in 1789.Parties were irrelevant to the Founding Fathers" (Riordon 4).Nevertheless, Plunkitt imagines Thomas Jefferson looking down from a cloud cheering him on as he beats the life out of the reform movement that is trying to weaken Tammany Democracy's power (Riordon 97).Hopefully, the writer of the Declaration of Independence would have been against the consolidation of power and privilege into as few hands as possible and be rather for the greater distribution of a democratic system.

Such revisionism is understandable from someone like Plunkitt as he is a promoter of what most can recognize today.Anti-Intellectualism is prevalent in his outlook.Tammany leaders, he says, are not bookworms (Riordon 73).He outright rejects the role of colleges and academically trained men in politics, that men "can cram their heads with all sorts of college rot.They couldn't make a bigger mistake" for their "chances are 100 to 1 against" them (Riordon 52).He doesn't give a clear explanation for this belief other than one must study human nature and not books to succeed.Perhaps the real reason is that the college graduates may carry with them idealism or more thorough knowledge of what the Founding Fathers intended, or even a more worldly outlook and understanding not just of international affairs but of how those outside the city operate.Plunkitt demonstrates none of these traits and seemed to care little and even have contempt for anything outside the city limits.It could be that such knowledge would have impeded a young man in his ability to operate in the hustling and power-hungry politics in which Plunkitt and Tammany operated.These are the only politics Plunkett knew, and though undemocratic, he accepted it, and felt that it was the only way it should be.

For the more liberal minded of today's American citizens, Plunkitt of Tammany Hall offers insight into the recent state of national politics.Indeed, the more critical among us can find many parallels to Plunkett's philosophy and that presented by President George W. Bush (which I will not detail here, as this is covered in my book, Looking Deeper, from Yggdrasil Press).The lessons from Tammany and Plunkitt have yet to be fully appreciated, it seems.Of course, unlike Plunkitt, no one could accuse George W. Bush of temperance. ... Read more


6. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall; A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics, Delivered by Ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the
by George Washington Plunkitt
Paperback: 50 Pages (2010-03-06)
list price: US$20.00 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 1153677946
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The book has no illustrations or index. Purchasers are entitled to a free trial membership in the General Books Club where they can select from more than a million books without charge. Title: Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics, Delivered by Ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany Philosopher, From His Rostrum-the New York County Court House Bootblack Stand; Recorded by William L. Riordo; Subjects: Plunkitt, George Washington, 1842-1924 ... Read more


7. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
by George Washington Plunkitt
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-09-14)
list price: US$1.00
Asin: B0042X9WT6
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FUNNY AND FRIGHTENINGLY RELEVANT!

An excerpt:

Chapter 1. Honest Graft and Dishonest Graft

EVERYBODY is talkin' these days about Tammany men growin' rich on graft, but nobody thinks of drawin' the distinction between honest graft and dishonest graft. There's all the difference in the world between the two. Yes, many of our men have grown rich in politics. I have myself. I've made a big fortune out of the game, and I'm gettin' richer every day, but I've not gone in for dishonest graft--blackmailin' gamblers, saloonkeepers, disorderly people, etc.--and neither has any of the men who have made big fortunes in politics.

There's an honest graft, and I'm an example of how it works. I might sum up the whole thing by sayin': "I seen my opportunities and I took 'em."

Just let me explain by examples. My party's in power in the city, and it's goin' to undertake a lot of public improvements. Well, I'm tipped off, say, that they're going to lay out a new park at a certain place.

I see my opportunity and I take it. I go to that place and I buy up all the land I can in the neighborhood. Then the board of this or that makes its plan public, and there is a rush to get my land, which nobody cared particular for before.

Ain't it perfectly honest to charge a good price and make a profit on my investment and foresight? Of course, it is. Well, that's honest graft.

... Read more

8. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series of very plain talks on very practical politics, delivered by ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany philosopher, ... stand; Recorded by William L. Riordon
by George Washington Plunkitt
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-10-04)
list price: US$1.99
Asin: B002RKRTNM
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Classic -- Timely Today!

Ever wonder why folks who go to Washington with little money and filled with ideals lose the ideals but gain millions? Well George Washington Plunkitt, a turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century politico stalwart of New York's Tammany Hall political organization of a type all but extinct (except in Chicago), called it "honest graft." Even he would be amazed, though, how his descendants in the vaunted sphere of "public service" have been able to fine-tune his precepts, morphing "honest graft" to a highly developed, organized and winked-at device that advances their interests and leaves us with tax-bills and ever-ballooning deficits. Yes, when "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" today, he (or she) becomes a millionaire, and generally stays there to lobby on if the office is lost. Plunkitt's as-told-to book is a delightful insight into the politico's mindset--then and now!
... Read more


9. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
by George Washington Plunkitt
Paperback: 50 Pages (2010-07-06)
list price: US$9.99 -- used & new: US$9.99
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Asin: B003VS0YXQ
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Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series of very plain talks on very practical politics, delivered by ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany philosopher, from his rostrum-the New York County court house bootblack stand; Recorded by William L. Riordon is presented here in a high quality paperback edition. This popular classic work by George Washington Plunkitt is in the English language. If you enjoy the works of George Washington Plunkitt then we highly recommend this publication for your book collection. ... Read more


10. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall
by George Washington Plunkitt
Kindle Edition: Pages (2010-09-24)
list price: US$2.89
Asin: B0044KM32K
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Jacob August Riis (May 3, 1849 - May 26, 1914) was a Danish American social reformer, muckraking journalist and social documentary photographer. He is known for his dedication to using his photographic and journalistic talents to help the impoverished in New York City, which was the subject of most of his prolific writings and photography.

He helped with the implementation of "model tenements" in New York with the help of humanitarian Lawrence Veiller. As one of the most prominent proponents of the newly practicable flash, he is considered a pioneer in photography. ... Read more


11. Honest Graft : The World of George Washington Plunkitt
by William L. Riordon, James Olson
 Paperback: 176 Pages (1997-11)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$20.00
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Asin: 1881089584
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William L. Riordon's compiling and embroidering of Boss Plunkitt's boastful comments on machine politics constitutes a minor classic in American social history. in an introduction to this edition of the political boss's remarks, James S. Olson, chairman of the history department at Sam Houston State University, and James W. Mooney of American University engage in a provocative exchange over how the boss mentality as Plunkitt expressed it is to be judged. Thereby they complicate and enrich a reader's perception of the practical devices and ethical ambiguities of popular politics.

"Tammany Hall was far more than a disinterested detached city government for several million poor, working-class New Yorkers. It was also a successful city government delivering municipal services, a social welfare agency assisting the immigrant poor and their children in adjusting to the new country, a political interest group giving working-class people at least a modest voice in an economic world increasingly dominated by rich corporations."
--James S. Olson

"In essence: the machine politicos, for all their genuine resonance with their constituencies, saw the average voter as a creature of appetite; the scientific progressives, for all their hauteur, expected something better of the public and were prepared to work for it."
--James W. Mooney ... Read more


12. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A series of very plain talks on very practical politics, delivered by ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany philosopher, ... stand, and recorded by William L. Riordon
by William L Riordon
 Paperback: 98 Pages (1963)

Asin: B0007GZ598
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13. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series of very plain talks on very practical politics, delivered by ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany philosopher, from his rostrum-the New York County court house bootblack stand; Recorded by William L. Rior
 Paperback: Pages (2011)
-- used & new: US$27.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00467FYAE
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14. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall;: A series of very plain talks on very practical politics, delivered by Ex-senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany philosopher, ... York County court-house bootblack stand--
by William L Riordon
 Hardcover: Pages (1905)

Asin: B00086OOIK
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15. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics, Delivered by Ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany Philosopher, from His Rostrum-the New YorkCounty Court-House Bootblack Stand
by William L., recorded by (George Washington Plunkitt) RIORDON
 Hardcover: Pages (1948)

Asin: B000OL0ZDM
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16. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series of very plain talks on very practical politics, delivered by ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany philosopher, from his rostrum-the New York County court house bootblack stand; Recorded by William L. Rior
 Hardcover: Pages (2011)
-- used & new: US$34.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0046A35GG
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17. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: A Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics, Delivered by Ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany Philosopher, from His Rostrum -- the New York County Court-House Bootblack Stand
by William L. RIORDON
 Hardcover: Pages (1905-01-01)

Asin: B002MO9EOK
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18. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall - a Series of Very Plain Talks on Very Practical Politics, Delivered By Ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt?
by William L. (Recorder) Riordon
 Paperback: Pages (1963)

Asin: B000S2PIJS
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19. Plunkitt of Tammany Hall: a series of very plain talks on very practical politics, delivered by ex-Senator George Washington Plunkitt, the Tammany philosopher, ... stand; Recorded by William L. Riordo
by George Washington Plunkitt
Kindle Edition: Pages (2009-09-28)
list price: US$3.65
Asin: B002QUZBR4
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20. HONEST GRAFT THE WORLD OF GEORGE WASHINGTON PLUNKITT PLUNKITT OF TAMMANY HALL
by William L. Riordan
 Paperback: Pages (1993)

Asin: B00151ATOK
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