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Episode Info: prominence. Then come the riots, and the aftermath. The publisher’s description gives a hint at the author’s focus: On September 9, 1919, an American nightmare came true. The entire Boston police force deserted their posts, leaving the city virtually defenseless. Women were raped on street corners, stores were looted, and pedestrians were beaten and robbed while crowds not only looked on but cheered. The police strike and the mayhem that followed made an inconspicuous governor, Calvin Coolidge, known throughout America, turning him into a national hero and, eventually, a president. It also created a monster: for two days, more than 700,000 residents of Boston’s urban core were without police protection, and the mob ruled the streets. Whether or not you believe, as Russell did, that the Boston Police Strike proves that public employees should have no right to organize, the book gives a deeper look at an often overlooked chapter in American history. With the centennial of the strike coming up in September, this is the perfect time to brush up on what happened. You can find a link to purchase the book in our show notes. Historic Event Past podcast guest Christian DiSpigna will be appearing at the Boston Athenaeum on May 28. Christian is the author of Founding Martyr: The Life and Death of Dr Joseph Warren, the American Revolution’s Lost Hero, and he joined us back in episode 103. Here’s how the Athenaeum describes it: Christian Di Spigna’s definitive new biography of Warren is a loving work of historical excavation, the product of two decades of research and scores of newly unearthed primary-source documents that have given us this forgotten Founding Father anew. Following Warren from his farming childhood and years at Harvard through his professional success and political radicalization to his role in sparking the rebellion, Di Spigna’s thoughtful, judicious retelling not only restores Warren to his rightful place in the pantheon of Revolutionary greats, it deepens our understanding of the nation’s dramatic beginnings. The talk begins at 12pm on Tuesday, May 28. Advanced registration is required. You’ll have to pay your way into the Athenaeum, but there’s no additional fee for the talk. ...
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