Archive for the 'Caleb Carr' Category

Kreizler and I are old men now, and New York is a very different place — as J. P. Morgan told us the night we visited him in his Black Library, the city, like the country generally, was on the verge of a tumultuous metamorphosis in 1896. Thanks to Theodore and many of his political allies, we have been transformed into a great power, and New York is more than ever the crossroads of the world. The crime and corruption that are still the firm foundations of city life have taken on ever more businesslike trappings — Paul Kelly, for example, has gone on to become an important leader of organized labor.

Every human being must find his own way to cope with such severe loss, and the only job of a true friend is to facilitate whatever method he chooses.

You are probably not in a position to know, Doctor…that we are at a crossroads, both in New York and in the country as a whole. This city is changing. Dramatically. Ph, I don’t simply mean the population, with the influx of immigrants. I mean the city itself. Twenty years ago, New York was still primarily a port — the harbor was our chief source of business. Today, with other ports challenging our preeminence, shipping and receiving have been eclipsed by both manufacture and banking. Manufacture, as you know, requires workers, and other, less fortunate, nations in the world have provided them. The leaders of organized labor claim that such workers are treated unfairly here. But fairly or no, they continue to come, because it is better than what they have left behind…We are not obligated to provide everyone who comes to this country with a good life…We are obligated to provide them with a chance to attain that life, through discipline and hard work. That chance is more than they have anywhere else. That is why they keep coming…We shall not be able to offer such a chance, in future, should our national economic development — which is currently in a state of deep crisis — be retarded by foolish political ideas born in the ghettos of Europe…Any events which can be prostituted to serve the purposes of those ideas must be suppressed.

And then Laszlo got that look in this eyes, the one that said we had to get out, get into a cab, and get back to our headquarters. He pled pressing business to Wissler, who very much wanted to talk further, and promised to return for another visit soon. Then he bolted for the door, leaving me to apologize more fully for the abrupt departure — which, not surprisingly, Wissler didn’t seem to mind at all. Scientists’ minds may jump around like amorous toads, but they do seem to accept such behavior in one another.