Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition / Edition 3

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The Mayors: The Chicago Political Tradition taps America’s most qualified observers to scrupulously assess the city’s mayors within the vigorous and tumultuous history of Chicago government. This revised and updated edition features extensive commentary on the enduring mayoral influence of Richard M. Daley.

“In the seventeen years since The Mayors was first published,” editors Paul M. Green and Melvin G. Holli write in the Preface to this edition, “Chicago politics has become more genteel, more docile, and more predictable. This dampening of the city’s once red-hot political coals is due to domination by one man: Mayor Richard M. Daley.” Also providing a political roadmap through the complex and fascinating labyrinth of Chicago politics are essays on other recent mayors: Richard J. Daley, Michael A. Bilandic, Jane M. Byrne, and Harold Washington.

Green and Holli’s popular study maintains that the key to the mayor’s office is power: the power to reward and the power to punish that comes with occupying the fifth floor of city hall in Chicago. Beginning with Joseph Medill, the Tribune publisher who guided the city in its rise from the ashes after the Great Fire of 1871, The Mayors takes readers through the terms of some of the city’s most colorful leaders: from the progressive Carter Harrison II and the radical Edward F. Dunne to the politically reticent Fred A. Busse and the loudmouth Big Bill Thompson. The essays collectively tell a riveting story of structures wherein aggressive power brokers surmount even massive corruption and scandal, and those who fail to seize the office’s inherent authority have short, uncomfortable tenures.

In addition to Green and Holli, contributors include David L. Protess, Edward R. Kantowicz, John D. Buenker, Maureen A. Flanagan, Douglas Bukowski, John R. Schmidt, Roger Biles, Arnold R. Hirsch, William J. Grimshaw, Monroe Anderson, Steve Neal, Steve Rhodes, and Laura S. Washington.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780809326129
  • Publisher: Southern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2005
  • Edition description: 3rd Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 376
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul M. Green is the Arthur Rubloff Professor and the director of policy studies at Roosevelt University. He is the author, coauthor, or editor of several books about Chicago and Illinois politics.


Melvin G. Holli, a professor emeritus of history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is the author of numerous books, including The American Mayor: The Best and the Worst Big-City Leaders and The Wizard of Washington: Emil Hurja, Franklin Roosevelt, and the Birth of Public Opinion Polling.

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Table of Contents

1 Joseph Medill : Chicago's first modern mayor 1
2 Carter H. Harrison II : the politics of balance 16
3 Edward F. Dunne : the limits of municipal reform 33
4 Fred A. Busse : a silent mayor in turbulent times 50
5 Big Bill Thompson : the "model" politician 61
6 William E. Dever : a Chicago political fable 82
7 Anton J. Cermak : the man and his machine 99
8 Edward J. Kelly : New Deal machine builder 111
9 Martin H. Kennelly : the mugwump and the machine 126
10 Mayor Richard J. Daley and the politics of good government 144
11 Michael A. Bilandic : the last of the machine regulars 160
12 Jane M. Byrne : to think the unthinkable and do the undoable 168
13 Harold Washington : the enigma of the black political tradition 179
14 The Sawyer saga : a journalist, who just happened to be the mayor's press secretary, speaks 198
15 The Daley era : Richard J. to Richard M. 217
16 Ranking Chicago's mayors : mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the greatest of them all? - an updated poll 235
17 Mayoring in Chicago, 1837-2004 : a stepping stone to higher office or a dead-end job? 246
18 Richard M. Daley and the politics of addition 260
19 Richard M. Daley's record
Surpassing the boss 274
Bungles and botches 278
20 Putting Harold to rest 283
21 The Chicago political tradition : a mayoral retrospective 288
App Chicago mayors 295
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