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Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago Paperback – October 1, 1988
"The Black Presidency"
Rated by Vanity Fair as one of our most lucid intellectuals writing on race and politics today, this book is a provocative and lively look into the meaning of America's first black presidency. Learn more
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
“A pungent and precise portrait of how big-city politics work. And it is brisk and lively reading in the bargain.
Muckraking at its best, a remorseless book that bites and tears.”
— Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, The New York Times
“There’s nobody better than Mike Royko writing politics anywhere in the country today. About the book? It’s Daley; Royko’s got him to the life. And it’s Chicago. Even if you’ve never been there you know it’s Chicago. A fine job.”
—Russell Baker, The New York Times
"Stunning, astonishing, myth-shattering!"
Studs Terkel, New York Times Book Review
"Without question the most devastating dissection of a personal municipal fief I've ever read
John Barkham, Saturday Review Syndicate
"A great book
Chicago and the lesser towns that make up urban America may or may not die. But you won't understand why they hurst so much until you read Boss."
The Washington Post
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Top Customer Reviews
His almostmatter-of-fact accounting of the machine corruption in Chicago under Daley is eye opening. Those who analogize it to the Mafia are on point, except its power the politicians are after, rather than just money. It's unbelievable to me that all of the venality was so out in the open and tolerated by the populace.
Particularly interesting was his account of the ethnic and racial evolution in this melting pot of a city. Italian, Polish, Irish, German, and Slavic neighborhoods whose only common theme was their hatred of the blacks. The paradox being that despite the white hatred, the segregation and appalling living conditons, those same white people could count on the black vote come election time, largely because of unscrupulous black ward bosses who cared more about power than helping their constituents.
One of the many things I like about Royko is that after reading his columns for years, I couldn't tell you whether his politics are liberal or conservative. He didn't deal in bromides, just reality. When something wasn't right, he called it on the perpetrators and wasn't hesitant to name names. I really miss the guy.
The story is important because it uncovers a truth otherwise overlooked by the media (for example, what really happened at the police riots at the 1968 Democratic Convention). Amazingly, despite the ugliness of the politics portrayed, Royko's writing is not too judgemental; any judgement of Daley is left to the reader. As Royko describes the rise of Daley's Machine, it becomes clear that the motivation behind most of Daley's actions was simply to keep his enemies powerless and keep the Machine's dominance intact, even when it means promoting inept allies to positions of power or neglecting the needs of Chicago's most struggling people.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informative. Showed the good and bad of Chicago in the Daley days.Published 4 months ago by corve
An honest and unflinching look at the good, the bad and the ugly of the man who was neither the first Boss nor the last Boss but quite possibly the biggest Boss - but more... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Kindle Customer
Mike Royko was a Chicago newspaper columnist supreme. He knew the City, the players and he was not afraid to stand up for the little guy. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Kent Uctum
READING THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES IS LIKE READING YOUR BOOK THE SAME. CHICAGO IS DIRTYPublished 14 months ago by NANETTE BENNETT
Well written (of course), an informative inside look at "the machine", the political entity that owns the Chicago government and how it gets and keeps control. Read morePublished 14 months ago by TomC