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May 20, 2016
9780813167527
English
208
26 b&w photos
9.00 Inches (US)
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$40.00 USD, £19.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
May 20, 2016
9780813167541
English
208
26 b&w photos
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Hardback
June 19, 2016
9780813167503
English
208
26 b&w photos
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6.00 Inches (US)
1.05 Pounds (US)
$29.95 USD, £19.00 GBP
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Paperback / softback
April 6, 2021
9780813180991
English
208
26 b&w photos
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$19.95 USD
v2.1 Reference

The Notorious John Morrissey

How a Bare-Knuckle Brawler Became a Congressman and Founded Saratoga Race Course

An Irish immigrant, a collection agent for crime bosses, a professional boxer, and a prodigious gambler, John Morrissey was—if nothing else—an unlikely candidate to become one of the most important figures in the history of Thoroughbred racing. As a young man, he worked as a political heavy in New York before going to San Francisco in search of fortune at the height of the Gold Rush. After returning to the east coast, he was hired by Tammany Hall and was soon locked in a deadly rivalry with William Poole, better known as "Bill the Butcher."

As time went on, Morrissey parlayed his youthful exploits into a remarkably successful career as a businessman and politician. After establishing a gambling house in Saratoga Springs, the hard-nosed entrepreneur organized the first Thoroughbred race meet at what would become Saratoga Race Course in 1863. Morrissey went on to be elected to two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms in the New York State Senate.

In The Notorious John Morrissey, James C. Nicholson explores the improbable life of the man who brought Thoroughbred racing back to prominence in the United States. Though few of his contemporaries did more to develop the commercialization of sports in America, Morrissey's colorful background has prevented him from getting the attention he deserves. This entertaining and long-overdue biography finally does justice to his astounding rags-to-riches story while exploring an intriguing chapter in the history of horse racing.

About the Author

James C. Nicholson is the author of The Kentucky Derby: How the Run for the Roses Became America's Premier Sporting Event and Never Say Die: A Kentucky Colt, the Epsom Derby, and the Rise of the Modern Thoroughbred Industry.

Reviews

"Nicholson writes with authority on one of the sports world's most colorful characters: John Morrissey, founder of Saratoga Race Course, champion prizefighter, U.S. congressman, New York legislator, and gambler par excellence."—Maryjean Wall, author of Madam Belle: Sex, Money, and Influence in a Southern Brothel and How Kentucky Became Southern: A Tale of Outlaws, Horse Thieves, Gamblers, and Breeders

"Nicholson has done remarkable research, which adds immeasurably to the standard knowledge about Mr. Morrissey."—Edward L. Bowen, author of twenty books on Thoroughbred racing

"[Nicholson] certainly does justice to all the varied aspects of a remarkable life and careersurely one of the most remarkable figures and great characters in our commercial and political history."—Washington Times

"Dr. Nicholson's interesting, informative, and well-written book takes you back to a time long ago."—Horse Racing Business

"James C. Nicholson has focused his writing on the sport of Thoroughbred racing, especially related to Kentucky. In The Notorious John Morrissey: How a Bare-Knuckle Brawler became a Congressman and Founded Saratoga Race Course, Nicholson lays out another slant on the racing world by profiling a colorful, roughhousing man of many and varied experiences from the mid-1880s."—Kentucky Monthly

"It is an excellent biography of a very entertaining, working-class politician who deserves better than to be lost to the ages."—H-Net Reviews

"Nicholson's biography is a lively account of a unique nineteenth-century Irish-American life."—The Historian

9780813167503 : the-notorious-john-morrissey-nicholson
Hardback
208 Pages
$29.95 USD
9780813180991 : the-notorious-john-morrissey-nicholson
Paperback / softback
April 6, 2021
$19.95 USD
9780813167527 : the-notorious-john-morrissey-nicholson
Electronic book text
208 Pages
$40.00 USD
9780813167541 : the-notorious-john-morrissey-nicholson
Electronic book text
208 Pages
$19.95 USD

Other Titles by James C. Nicholson

Racing for America

James C. Nicholson
Apr 2021 - University Press of Kentucky
$26.00 USD - Hardback
$26.00 USD - Electronic book text
$26.00 USD - Electronic book text

The Kentucky Derby

James C. Nicholson, foreword by Chris McCarron
Dec 2014 - University Press of Kentucky
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text
$19.95 USD - Paperback / softback
$19.95 USD - Electronic book text

Never Say Die

James C. Nicholson, foreword by Pete Best
Apr 2013 - University Press of Kentucky
$40.00 USD - Hardback
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text
$40.00 USD - Electronic book text

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A Georgetown Life

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