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Bitter Fruit: Black Politics and the Chicago Machine, 1931-1991 (New Edition) New Edition

5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0226308944
ISBN-10: 0226308944
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 262 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press; New edition (May 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226308944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226308944
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,140,051 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Vanessa Allmon on May 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Want to understand the black political experience in Chicago? READ THIS BOOK.

Chicago's political past touches its present, as many names of the past have sons or daughters who would assume, and in some cases, surpass, political offices held by their fathers or other relatives.

This book explores many political connections, but more importantly explains how black people voted, for whom and why. This history provides a context for understanding black Chicago's political power, or lack thereof (according to some), in the present day.

Clearly the cover of the book illustrates just how black Chicago progressed politically throughout the 20th century, with Mayor Harold Washington being elected the city's first black mayor.

This book answers a very salient and relevant political question: do black people vote just for race, or do black people make informed rational voting decisions? If you really want to know, read the book!

I attended Loyola University of Chicago as an undergraduate, where I found this book in a bookstore as the assigned text for a black politics class taught by Professor Chris Mannings (historian). Unfortunately my schedule did not allow for me to take the class, but I still purchased the book. As a graduate student at Northwestern University, Professor Al Hunter (sociologist) allowed me to use this book for a paper, as opposed to one of his recommended or assigned readings. I thank them both for helping me to discover this book and use it to explain how socio-economics i.e. class, and not just race, shapes black political thought and consciousness. For any student of politics, this book is well worth reading.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this out of interest in the genre. I was thoroughly impressed. I was surprised that, as a Chicagoan, I wasn't familiar with any of the Chicago history in the book and would like to read more on the people in the book, such as Mayors Cermak and Kelly and an elongated, encyclopedic history of the city's politics in the 20th Century. Unfortunately, the book stops right after the second Richard Daley's election. I'd recommend to the writer (William Grimshaw) that he undertake such a venture, if he is still alive. Awesome reading for anyone interested in Chicago, politics, or race relations in America.
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