"Shadow Men : The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America" w/James Polchin 7/10 - 6pm at our Boston Bookstore

East End Books Boston Seaport Presents: "Shadow Men: The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America"

w/James Polchin 7/10 - 6pm at our Boston Bookstore (300 Pier 4 Blvd. Next to the ICA Museum & Woods Hill Pier 4 Restaurant).

Tickets Here:  "Shadow Men" w/James Polchin 7/10 at 6pm - Boston Bookstore Tickets, Wed, Jul 10, 2024 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

 

"On the morning of May 16, 1922, a young man's body was found on a desolate road in Westchester County. The victim was penniless ex-sailor Clarence Peters. Walter Ward, the handsome scion of the family that owned the largest chain of bread factories in the country, confessed to the crime as an act of self-defense against a violent gang of "shadow men," blackmailers who extorted their victims' moral weaknesses. From the start, one question defined the investigation: What scandalous secret could lead Ward to murder?"--

 

James Polchin, Ph.D.is a writer, professor, and cultural historian. His book Indecent Advances: A Hidden History of True Crime and Prejudice Before Stonewall was an Edgar Award finalist, Macavity Award Nominee, and named one of the Best True Crime Books of the Year by CrimeReads. His writing has appeared in Slate, TIME, Huffington Post UK, CrimeReads, Paris Review, Rolling Stone, NewNextNow, and the Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide. He is a Clinical Professor at New York University, and has previously taught at the Princeton Writing Program, the Parsons School of Design, the New School, and the Creative Nonfiction Foundation. He lives in New York with his husband, the photographer Greg Salvatori, and a Labrador named Albert.

 

"Polchin knows the era, and brings to his account a wealth of colorful supporting detail . . . With its layers of taboos and public spectacle, the case feels, a century later, as relevant as ever." --Marisa Meltzer, The New York Times Book Review

 

From Edgar Award finalist James Polchin comes a thrilling examination of the murder that captivated Jazz Age America, with echoes of the decadence and violence of The Great Gatsby

 

On the morning of May 16, 1922, a young man's body was found on a desolate road in Westchester County. The victim was penniless ex-sailor Clarence Peters. Walter Ward, the handsome scion of the family that owned the largest chain of bread factories in the country, confessed to the crime as an act of self-defense against a violent gang of "shadow men," blackmailers who extorted their victims' moral weaknesses. From the start, one question defined the investigation: What scandalous secret could lead Ward to murder?

 

For sixteen months, the media fueled a firestorm of speculation. Unscrupulous criminal attorneys, fame-seeking chorus girls, con artists, and misogynistic millionaires harnessed the power of the press to shape public perception. New York governor and future presidential candidate Al Smith and editor of the Daily News Joseph Medill Patterson leveraged the investigation to further professional ambitions. Famous figures like Harry Houdini, Arthur Conan Doyle, and F. Scott Fitzgerald weighed in. As the bereaved working-class Peters family sought to bring the callous Ward to justice, America watched enraptured.

 

Capturing the extraordinary twists and turns of the case, Shadow Men conjures the excess and contradictions of the Jazz Age and reveals the true-crime origins of the media-led voyeurism that reverberates through contemporary life. It's a story of privilege and power that lays bare the social inequity that continues to influence our system of justice.

Event date: 
Wednesday, July 10, 2024 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Event address: 
300 Pier 4 Blvd
Boston, MA 02210
Shadow Men: The Tangled Story of Murder, Media, and Privilege That Scandalized Jazz Age America By James Polchin Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781640096004
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint - June 11th, 2024

Event Image: 
Photo Credit: Greg Salvatori