7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining read, not a great biography,
This review is from: Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago (Paperback)
I'm struggling to write this review. On the one hand, this book is fascinating. It details Richard J Daley's rise to power in Chicago and takes you behind the scenes at some of the most important events in the city's rocky history - Martin Luther King Jr. coming to town, the race riots, and the 1968 Democratic Convention. All of the stories are well written and well researched. They are all also clearly delivered with Daley as the antagonist.
On the other hand, I was kind of looking for a biography of Daley, and this fails to deliver on some of the aspects of a good biography. It's definitely not written from a neutral standpoint. Daley is the bad guy. The author discusses a little background information and the scandals, but doesn't really let you in on everything that's going on. Reading this book 40 - 50 years after the events happened, I'm still left with a lot of questions. I realize that this isn't the main point of this award winning book, but I wasn't aware of that before I jumped in.
In conclusion - this is a very entertaining book. If you know what you're getting, you'll love it. If you're looking for the basic information on Richard Daley's reign, you're going to find this book lacking.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 18, 2010 8:25:37 PM PST
If you want a Daley bio, read "American Pharaoh". Your first paragraph perfectly sums up this book because that's what it is - a behind the scene look at the Chicago Democratic Machine as run by Daley. Royko's writing reflects his relationship with Daley: contentious, distrustful, and somewhat contemptible - and yet, to some degree, a grudging respect for Daley's political savvy.
Posted on Jan 11, 2012 5:28:18 PM PST
Diogenes Swift says:
So, essentially you were disappointed that Royko didn't write the book you wanted him to. Got it.
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