Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

 New York City is due to change mayors with next year's elections, but different politicals eras in the city can be a relative term.

Picture: Rowdy demonstrations in lower Manhattan, debate over police surveillance of an ethnic community, noise and noise complaints, a mayor stuck out of town during a blizzard, tension over wealth disparity, funerals for American soldiers killed in a foreign war, debate over the nation’s overseas entanglements.

All are themes of a new book by Thai Jones titled “More Powerful Than Dynamite: Radicals, Plutocrats, Progressives, and New York’s Year of Anarchy” — focused on the city not today but in 1914.

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The parallels and differences between the periods create such a provocative topic that Jones, once with Newsday in the city, seems to have moved past his earlier public profile as a son of 1960's militant radicals, about which he's already written (link here), into a new depth.

An important figure in the book is Mayor John Purroy Mitchel, for whom MItchel field was named, and Jones' account of the year's socially-relevant weather includes this description: "For the first time in three years, the Great South Bay froze over; ice encased the shore of Long Island from the Rockaways to Shinnecock."