By Rudolph H. Hartmann
The lengthy reign of Kansas urban political boss Thomas J. Pendergast got here to an lead to 1939, after an research led by means of specific Agent Rudolph Hartmann of the U.S. division of the Treasury led to Pendergast's conviction for source of revenue tax evasion. In 1942, Hartmann's account used to be submitted to Secretary of the Treasury Henry Morgenthau, Jr., in whose papers it remained for the earlier fifty-six years unbeknownst to historians. whereas learning the relatives among Pendergast and Franklin D. Roosevelt, Robert H. Ferrell stumbled on Hartmann's landmark report—the simply firsthand account of the research that introduced down the best political computer of its time, almost certainly one of many maximum in all of yankee history.
Reading like a "whodunit," The Kansas urban Investigation strains Pendergast's political occupation from its beginnings to its finish. As considered one of America's significant urban bosses, Pendergast used to be on the peak of his impact in 1935-1936 whilst his energy reached now not in basic terms to each ward and precinct in Kansas urban but additionally to the statehouse in Jefferson urban and Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. It was once in this time that the boss took a huge bribe—$315,000—from 137 nationwide fireplace insurance firms working inside of Missouri, starting him to assault by way of his enemies.
Early in 1938, an legitimate within the Washington headquarters of the Bureau of inner profit, a former Missourian, give up his activity to just accept inner most employment, yet no longer with no first tipping off a reporter from the Kansas urban Star approximately Pendergast's bribe. The reporter instantly phoned Lloyd C. Stark, the governor of Missouri and a identified enemy of Pendergast. Stark then went to Washington to notify President Roosevelt. even though the president have been a supporter of Pendergast, he now thought of Stark a extra vital political best friend. Roosevelt requested the Treasury division to enquire Pendergast's source of revenue taxes. The intelligence unit of the Treasury division positioned Hartmann, its top operative, at the case. inside of a 12 months, after the main minute of inquiries into checkbooks, serial numbers on forex, a safe-deposit field, and a telegraphed move of $10,000, Hartmann and his brokers stumbled on adequate facts to convict Boss Tom.
More than an easy account of what the Roosevelt management did to reason the cave in of the Pendergast laptop, The Kansas urban Investigation takes the reader during the ups and downs, twists and turns, of this fascinating research, all from an insider's standpoint. extra very important, Hartmann's file presents historians and readers alike the chance to judge the computer period in American political history—an period that, in keeping with the research, "proved the previous axiom that fact is stranger than fiction.'"