Richard J. Daley: Politics, Race, and the Governing of Chicago / Edition 1

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From his first election in 1955 to 1976, Mayor Richard J. Daley dominated Chicago's political landscape. A product of the Irish Catholic working class, Daley never lost touch with his roots as he rose through the Democratic Party machine—whose workings he perfected—to become a powerful and enduring political figure.

The story of Daley is also the story of Chicago. Faced with issues confronting many American cities in the twentieth century—civil rights, integration, race riots, fiscal crisis, housing, suburban flight, urban renewal—Daley conducted Chicago's business with a steadfast resolve to withstand the many changes that threatened to engulf his city. Richard J. Daley portrays one of the most prominent American mayors in a balanced perspective and sheds new light on his place in urban history.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The most complete and authoritative biography of this powerful political figure that we yet have."—Journal of American History

"Essential reading for urban scholars and those knowledgeable about Chicago's politics. A well-done and important contribution to the urban literature."—Library Journal

"Highly readable and thoroughly researched ... a valuable contribution to local history."—Chicago Sun-Times

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
An eternal figure in Chicago politics his son governs the city today, Richard J. Daley would rule Carl Sandburg's ``City of the Big Shoulders'' with an increasingly heavy hand. Author Biles, who has also written on Daley's predecessor, Edward J. Kelly, portrays a politician eager to maintain the status quo, despite governing in a time of massive change. But as Daley's administration bridged the gap from the late 1940s to the 1960s, he had to face racial unrest and massive youth uprising. Daley took on Dr. Martin Luther King and Yippies, becoming, according to Biles, ever more ``ossified in his role as archdefender of the domestic order,'' and, as a consequence, he was unable to deal with the ghetto riots and the violence surrounding the 1968 Democratic convention. Daley's story turns particularly ugly when he orders police to ``shoot to kill'' during one riot, and when he usurps power at the 1968 convention. Biles doesn't just focus on local politics, showing Daley in the role of federal kingmaker as well. In 1968, Daley worked fruitlessly behind the scenes to prod Edward Kennedy to run for president, and the mayor's refusal to back Adlai Stevenson in 1964 would be a perpetual sore spot between the two. Readers will be fascinated by the detailed inner workings of the Chicago political machines, rife with patronage. But as the subtitle suggests, this is a political biography and as such fails to shed much light on the man and his more personal motivations. Photos. July
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780875805665
  • Publisher: Northern Illinois University Press
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction: Chicago, 1945-1955
1 The Road to City Hall
2 The New Mayor
3 Mounting Problems
4 The Challenge to Plantation Politics
5 Pressure from External Sources
6 Confrontation with King
7 The Law and Order Mayor
8 Daley on Trial
9 Awash in a Sea of Scandal
10 The City That Works
11 The Battle for Chicago
Bibliographical Essay

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