RELEASE: New Book Reveals True Story About Impeachment of New York State Governor William Sulzer

September 15, 2013

Jack O’Donnell 716.882.3100


New Book Reveals True Story About Impeachment of New York State Governor William Sulzer

O’Donnell’s Expertise As Political Insider, Lawyer, Lobbyist Provides In Depth Analysis and Insight In His Debut Book: Bitten By The Tiger: The True Story of The Governor, Tammany Hall, & Impeachment


Buffalo, New York — Political insider Jack O’Donnell reveals the truth behind the impeachment of New York State Governor William Sulzer in his new book Bitten By The Tiger: The True Story of Impeachment, the Governor, & Tammany Hall. Published in September of 2013 by Chapel Hill Press, the book is available from Amazon (link), Barnes & Noble (link) and local booksellers.

Sulzer’s impeachment and removal from office was one of the biggest stories of 1913; the chief characters in the drama larger than life.  Countless pages have been written about them—Al Smith, William Randolph Hearst, Robert Wagner—but almost nothing about Sulzer himself.

This carefully researched book tells the real story of Tammany Hall and William Sulzer.  It examines the Tammany Lieutenants—Al Smith and Robert Wagner—who engineered the impeachment but went on to be some of the greatest reformers of the 20th Century (Al Smith and Robert Wagner).

Sulzer’s story is one of great achievement and a most spectacular fall. A tale of money, lies, power and treachery, the story of William Sulzer is also a lesson from New York’s political past.

In addition to the astonishing story of Sulzer’s rise and fall, his career in elected office alone merits having his story told.

  • A nine-term member of Congress, Sulzer authored 25 major bills that would become law including creating the U.S. Department of Labor and laws the enabled President Theodore Roosevelt’s “trust busting.”
  • As an Assemblyman, Sulzer introduced and passed legislation abolishing “sweat shops,” ended imprisonment for debt, abolished corporal punishment in prisons, and, ironically, provided for the punishment of corrupt election practices.
  • Sulzer was involved in opening parks and the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the public, a prevailing wage regulation, the first State forest park, the completion of the state Capitol, the enlargement of the state canals including the Erie Canal, and creating the New York City Public Library.

Obscured by history, William Sulzer’s accomplishments and rise to power were lost after his tragic fall. Bitten By The Tiger helps correct the historical record while also offering interesting lessons for politicians today.

Timed to coincide with the centennial of his election and removal from office, this book also examines the unique events that allowed history to remember Sulzer as the “wronged reformer” and kept the true story hidden for 100 years.

For the first time in almost 75 years, this book takes a dispassionate and objective view of those events, using transcript of the impeachment trial and other first person and original sources to examine the evidence and offer readers the truth.

The author’s career as a political insider, staffer on several statewide campaigns in New York, work in state and federal government, and now as a lobbyist, professor and lawyer gives the reader a unique understanding of what really happened . . . and why.

This is William Sulzer’s story.  It is also Al Smith’s story and William Randolph Hearst’s story and Charlie Murphy’s story.  More importantly it is the story of how government works and a story about for whom government works.  This is New York’s story.  This is our story.  It deserves to be told.

The South Buffalo News says, “A vivid tale. Reads like a thriller. Hard to put down.”

According to The Front Page Newspaper Group,Bitten By The Tiger is an absorbing, intelligent, and sometimes startling account of a vanished era. The time is long gone but the story offers a unique window into politics. It will appeal to history buffs, and anyone who seeks to understand politics today.”

United States Senator Charles E. Schumer, best selling author of Positively American: Winning Back the Middle Class Majority One Family at a Time, says, “Bitten By The Tiger by Jack O’Donnell is an insightful take on a fascinating, but too-dimly understood, character in New York’s rich political history — and it is an even better read. I would expect no less from a political professional of Jack’s caliber; He was an integral part of the team that vaulted me into the United States Senate and that subsequently built the foundation for my successful first term. It is even more revelatory to see him apply that rare acumen to the written page.”

Visit for additional details, review copies, photos, and an author bio.


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