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In 1846 the Crokers, a Presbyterian landlord family, flee Ireland's famine in West Cork aboard the "Henry Clay, survive shipwreck, and land in New York. There they are confronted with the grim realities of a teeming city, street gangs, poverty, and prostitution. In this New World their youngest son, Richard 'Boss' Croker (1841-1922) thrives. Through sheer ambition the barely literate Croker--engineer, prizefighter, fixer, union organizer--battles his way from the underworld to seize control of Tammany Hall, the seat of power-politics in New York. "Boss Croker also captures the drama of Croker's later years: his move to Dublin, where he reconstructs Glencairn in Sandyford, winning the 1907 English Derby with Orby, the first Irish horse to do so; his support for rebellion in Ireland through contacts with Clan na Gael and Michael Collins. It brings Ireland and Irish America into vivid focus through the prism of one extraordinary, flamboyant life.