The Savage City (Book)

T.J. English has written, quite possibly, the most compelling historical fictional of the year. The only catch is that it all really happened.

With the story telling-style that could rival any bestseller fiction author currently battling it out on the sales charts right now, English uses a reporter’s eye to pull in the most fantastical and interesting details of a racially-charged New York city in the 60’s and 70’s in laying out The Savage City.

The book centers on corrupt cops, the rise of the Black Panther Party, and George Whitmore, a young, uneducated black man with no criminal record who was coerced into confessing to everything from rapes and assaults to one of the city’s most high profile murders. Throughout the book, as both the cops and Black Panthers rise and fall, Whitmore observes most of this through prison cells as he fights to finally clear his name.

Everyone from Martin Luther King and Malcolm X to Serpico and Huey P. Newton have cameos throughout the book, as English deftly describes the tension boiling over in the city, with plenty of responsibility to go around. Hard to put down, the nearly 500 pages fly by thanks to English’s knack for compelling story telling.

The Savage City by T.J. English/Hardcover/496 pages/William Morrow

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One thought on “The Savage City (Book)”

  1. An interesting read, but it had a LOT of historical & geographic inaccuracies, and it was very one-sided.

    English places Newark as being halfway between Wildwood & Brooklyn. That would make Wildwood about 25 miles from NYC. Anyone with a basic geographic knowledge of NY/NJ knows that Wildwood in about 150 miles down the coast. He also stated that Newark’s population in 1967 was 2 million. Newark’s population has always been well below 1 million. Did he do this for dramatic effect ? Who knows, but the errors were glaring.

    Additionally, he states that NYC’s crime rate started to come down when Dinkins was elected mayor. I lived in NYC during that period. The yearly homicide count in the Dinkins years was over two thousand. Not until Giuliani became mayor did the crime rate plummet, thanks in part to intelligent, aggressive policing.

    There were several other untruths; too many too list at this point.

    The Savage City would make a very good novel. As non-fiction it fails miserably.

    Gregory Menton

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