02 Oct The Murder of Jim Fisk for the Love of Josie Mansfield
Summary: Even before he was shot dead on the stairway of the tony Grand Central Hotel in 1872, financier James “Jubilee Jim” Fisk, Jr., was a notorious New York City figure. From his audacious attempt to corner the gold market in 1869 to his battle for control of the geographically crucial Erie Railroad, Fisk was a flamboyant exemplar of a new financial era marked by volatile fortunes and unprecedented greed and corruption. But it was his scandalously open affair with a showgirl named Josie Mansfield that ultimately led to his demise.
In this riveting short history—the first in his American Portraits series—H. W. Brands traces Fisk’s extraordinary downfall, bringing to life New York’s Gilded Age and some of its legendary players, including Boss William Tweed, Cornelius Vanderbilt, and the railroad tycoon Jay Gould.
Angie’s Comments: The book is short, which makes it a nice read. Readers learn about Jim Fisk, Josie Mansfield, Ned Stokes, and other figures of New York in the Gilded Age, without learning too much about any one figure. At some points, it would have been nice to have more details, but this book focuses on the trial of Ned Stokes. It is a book that gives readers information about the murder, and if readers want to learn more after reading this book, there are other sources to look at.
Recommended for readers of true crime and/or American history.