Robert Speer was among the foremost urban bosses in the pre-World War I era. His Denver machine, the Big Mitt, was second to none in stealing votes and delivering for its financial backers. Simultaneously, Speer was very much an activist mayor, heavily touting city beautiful policies. Among others, he greatly impressed Lincoln Steffens who heralded Speer as a model mayor. Nobody was more critical of Speer than Ben Lindsey. Starting out as a member of the Speer machine, Lindsey rapidly turned into a critic as he crusaded for children's issues. At the same time Lindsey collaborated with such people as Theodore Roosevelt and Jane Addams as he built the international juvenile court movement based on his Denver experiences, he blasted corporate Denver as nothing less than a vicious beast of prey mauling the citizenry. This especially came out in his 1910 muckraking classic, The Beast. Here Mile High politics brought together the numerous strains of American urban and social tensions in the decades before World War I. Goodstein's book recognizes this, focusing on the class biases of the different players. In addition to analyzing the business ties of many of the Colorado Progressives, he examines who the local socialist and labor activists were. Robert Speer's Denver includes vital glimpses at such favored Progressive programs as the abolition of child labor, the push for Prohibition, the character of public health, and city planning. It likewise examines Colorado politics at a time when LaFollette's Magazine labeled the commonwealth "probably the worst-governed state in the Union." Women are omnipresent in the book-Colorado was the national model of equal suffrage in the debates over the adoption of the 19th Amendment.
- Publisher: New Social Publications (2004)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0974226408
- ISBN-13: 978-0974226408
- Package Dimensions: 9 x 5.9 x 1.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds