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Meet Holly Metz, Author of "Killing the Poormaster"

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Holly Metz is the author of the recently published—and critically acclaimed—Killing the Poormaster: A Saga of Poverty, Corruption, and Murder in the Great Depression. Killing the Poormaster chronicles the events that led up to—and followed—the death of Harry Barck, a poormaster who was granted the authority to decide who would and would not receive public aid in Hoboken, New Jersey. Unemployed mason Joe Scutellaro was said to have stabbed Barck in the heart with a paper spike after the poormaster suggested that Scutellaro’s wife prostitute herself on the streets rather than ask the city for aid. News of the poormaster's death electrified the city, made headlines nationwide, and led to a sensational trial. A Hoboken resident for more than 30 years and a freelance writer since 1985, Holly Metz has written extensively on legal, cultural, and social issues for the American Bar Association and for publications including The Progressive, Labor History, Metropolis, and the New York Times. The founder of the Hoboken Oral History Project, which documents the city’s working class history, she received two New Jersey Historical Commission grants to research poor relief and the Scutellaro trial. Killing the Poormaster is the result of that research. Ms. Metz will have copies of her book available for purchase and for signing.


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