In an incendiary 1892 sermon given at the Madison Square Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Charles Parkhurst declared New York's municipal life to be deplorable and corrupt, controlled by "polluted harpies feeding day and night on its quivering vitals." While city officials denounced him as a "blatherskite" and a "cowardly defamer," Parkhurst set about gathering a slew of evidence to present in a later series of sermons that captivated city residents and the press alike. Parkhurst believed that only a Christian revival, combined with a new, non-partisan approach to governing, could save New York. Disguised as an out of towner, he toured New York's underworld, gathering evidence which he presented in sermons. Two years later, his crusade led the state senate to found the Lexow Committee, whose comprehensive investigation (including testimonies from nearly 700 witnesses) revealed the dark underside of New York's vice economy and the police force's complicity in it, effectively launching the Progressive movement. Animated by a colorful cast of characters ranging from the bosses of Tammany Hall to prostitutes and counterfeiters, Daniel Czitrom offers a vivid account of a formative time when muckraking journalism and urban reform were just beginning to alter the American social and political landscape. As Czitrom reveals, the relationship between New York politics and the NYPD affected not only the life of the city, but of the nation as a whole.