The book reviews the life of James K. McGuire, the youngest mayor of Syracuse, New York, his role as lobbyist for the Asphalt Trust and his contributions as an activist in the fight for Irish freedom. The book explores the issues of domestic political reforms, trusts, political corruption and international intrigue. McGuire began his career as a populist reformer but became tainted by his abuse of power which led to two indictments bas mayor and an investigation by the federal government during World War I involving his role as a propagandist for the German Imperial government He was at one time a major player in Democratic party politics at the state and national level having connections to such national figures as Woodrow Wilson, William Jennings Bryan and
Tammany Boss Charles Murphy. He was a ranking member in the cause of Irish freedom familiar with prominent nationalists as John Devoy, Daniel Cohalan, Eamon De Valera and Harry Boland. McGuire’s story, now more than a century old, has a familiar ring to contemporary American politics.