Includes bibliographical references (pages 269-278) and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Prologue: The heated term -- Introduction: Fighting for air -- Cholera infantium -- Slaughter Alley -- Enemy's country -- Inferno of brick and stone -- Bryan fell with a bang -- Strange and pathetic scenes -- Conclusion: A phenomenon -- Epilogue: Hot time in the old town -- Postscript -- Appendix A: Death certificates filed, August 4-17, 1895 and 1896 -- Appendix B: Who died : Manhattan, Tuesday, August 11.
The 1896 New York heat wave that killed almost 1,500 people in ten oppressively hot days coincided with a pitched presidential contest between William McKinley and the upstart Democrat William Jennings Bryan, who arrived in New York City at the height of the catastrophe. As historian Edward P. Kohn shows, Bryan's hopes for the presidency began to flag amidst the abhorrent heat just as a bright young police commissioner named Theodore Roosevelt was scrambling to mitigate the dangerously high temperatures.