Theses Doctoral

More Powerful Than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York's Year of Anarchy

Jones, Thai Stein

The year had opened with bright expectations, but 1914 quickly tumbled into disillusionment and violence. For John Purroy Mitchel, New York City's new "boy mayor," the trouble started in January, when a crushing winter caused homeless shelters to overflow and dozens of the city's homeless froze to death. By April, anarchist throngs had paraded past industrialists' mansions, and tens of thousands filled New York's Union Square demanding "Bread of Revolution." Then, on July 4, 1914, a bomb destroyed a six-story Harlem tenement. It was the largest explosion the city had ever known. Among the dead were three bomb-makers; incited by anarchist Alexander Berkman, they had been preparing to dynamite the estate of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., son of a plutocratic dynasty and widely vilified for a massacre of his company's striking workers in Colorado earlier that spring. More Powerful Than Dynamite charts how anarchist anger, progressive idealism, and plutocratic paternalism converged in that July explosion.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Kessler-Harris, Alice
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 10, 2012