Reading Mr. Merriner’s rollicking account is what I imagine it would be like to be a guest at a Polish-American picnic in Chicago, being regaled with storiessome admiring, some damningabout big Joe Rusty’s cocky kid. I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Merriner’s detailed, colorful and anecdotal reports of life and politics in Chicago’s old 32nd Ward.”Washington Times
Merriner paints Rostenkowski as a dealmaker who worked hard for special interests, whether it was a $288 million tax break in 1984 for 333 Chicago options traders, tax breaks to finance a new Comiskey Park, or $200 million in advantages for Commonwealth Edison. He details Rostenkowski’s crimes and leaves no doubt that many serious misdeeds were at stake, not just the usual congressional corruption of favors-for-donations that Rostenkowski dealt with on an everyday basis at Ways and Means. As Merriner puts it, Dan Rostenkowski all but wore a sign around his neck that flashed I want power.’”Chicago Sun Times
James L. Merriner covered Chicago and national politics for more than two decades as political editor of the Chicago Sun-Times and the Atlanta Constitution. He was the James Thurber Journalist in Residence at Ohio State University in 1996. Merriner is coauthor of Against Long Odds: Citizens Who Challenge Congressional Incumbents.