THE MAN WHO RAN THE SUBWAYS: The Story of Mike Quill by L. H. Whittemore

THE MAN WHO RAN THE SUBWAYS: The Story of Mike Quill

Email this review


As much a part of New York City folklore as Little Flower Laguardia reading the funnies on radio during a news strike, is the memory of Mike Quill, as he sounded--in a brogue that grew richer through the years--the prelude to the biennial ritual of his Transit Workers Union's holiday horn-locking with City Hall. In 1966, Mike Quill's ""monumental"" transit strike (on which a follower commented: ""... now Michael has given them the best strike the world has ever seen""), provided an appropriate Gotterdammerung for a life spent in the heat of brontosaurian political battle. His early life in Ireland with derring do in the Irish Republican Army (it was Mike who shot the lock from a bank safe in the interests of freedom); days ""in the cage"" in New York's subways; joining with the Communist party to unionize his fellow Irishmen; his break with the Party and juggling for leadership; the presidency of the TWU; national recognition--all were paced by soap-box personal appeals, and battle cries rallying the Oppressed against the Establishment. Like Boston's Curley. Quill was a fighter with a shrewd understanding of the nature and uses of power; a crowd pleaser who played his cards with care in back rooms; but one whose style was slipping out of fashion. (""The end of an era,"" wanly pronounced Mayor ""Lindsley""). A straightforward, enjoyable view of the terrible Leprechaun that will go further than the subways.

Pub Date: June 6th, 1968
Publisher: Holt, Rinehart & Winston