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The name Daley is synonymous with modern Chicago. The elder Richard was mayor for 21 years, and his son-the subject of this dynamic biography-held the same post for 22. They manned the helm of the Windy City for decades and set the precedent for a ruthless yet remarkably productive gubernatorial office. Richie took his father's tough lessons and political crises to heart, eventually overshadowing him by transforming the gritty industrial town rocked by racial problems into today's gleaming park-filled metropolis, which echoes the grandeur of the Chicago that played host to the World's Fair over a century ago. Native son Koeneman colorfully and familiarly details the rise of the Daleys and their imprint on their hometown, while showing how Richie put his aggression and dogged persistence to work in support of massive anticrime, gay rights, mental health, education, and urban beautification initiatives, as well as the controversial overnight destruction of a local airport. Koeneman also demonstrates how the influence of the "First Son" expanded beyond his beloved city, especially after proteges Rahm Emanuel, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett attained major-player status under President Obama. Buttressed by meticulous research and over 100 interviews, Koeneman's profile is a highly focused history of a 20th-century metropolis and a compelling biography of the family that shaped it for nearly half a century. 24 pages of photos. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.
In this ripping political biography, Koeneman portrays the mayor who held office for 22 years and transformed Chicago from a gray working town into a gleaming global city. The story of the second Mayor Daley begins with the first, and Koeneman reveals exactly how the father ushered his oldest son into politics while keeping him on a tight leash. Young Rich, awkward and arrogant, also faced resentment from his peers. But as hostile as his critics are--and Koeneman, who conducted more than 100 interviews, quotes some stinging remarks--there is no denying that Daley underwent a dramatic personal evolution or that he cares deeply about people. As Koeneman charts the political calculations intrinsic to Daley's rise and rule and takes a close look at his inner circle, with its ties to Barack Obama, he contrasts the epic viciousness and corruption of Chicago politics and the mayor's own failings with Daley's tenacity, empathy, humanistic impulse, and accomplishments. This brisk (though repetitive) portrait of a complex, colorful, and powerful American is a work of valuable living political history.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist