Catalogue


Mackerels in the moonlight : four corrupt American mayors /
Gerald Leinwand.
imprint
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2004.
description
viii, 274 p. : ill. ; 23 cm.
ISBN
0786418451 (softcover : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, c2004.
isbn
0786418451 (softcover : alk. paper)
catalogue key
5331187
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 263-264) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Gerald Leinwand is President Emeritus of Western Oregon University.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2005-02-01:
Leinwand, a retired university president and writer (1927: High Tide of the Twenties), starkly sketches four iconic individuals deemed America's worst mayors (but not most ineffective) in a 1993 poll of political scientists. Unscrupulous insofar as they used their public offices for private gain, they are as follows, starting with the most culpable: "Big Bill" Thompson of Chicago, Frank "I Am the Law" Hague of Jersey City, the "Night Mayor" Jimmy Walker of New York, and James Michael "The Last Hurrah" Curley of Boston. All served sizable cities during a time in the 20th century, after the high tide of urban progressive reform subsided, when presumably flashy results rather than substantive improvement mattered most. Their reigns also traversed Prohibition, when voters often winked at legal transgressions. They lasted by giving people what they wanted, sometimes even low crime rates and free medical care (in the case of Jersey City) but at the cost of bankrupting their communities and enriching their colleagues. The author's point, that political corruption was by no means limited to these four personalities but rather was exemplified and exaggerated by them, is well taken. Enhanced by black-and-white illustrations and suitably annotated, the book provides a good read without presenting any new findings. Recommended for public libraries and general readers.-Frederick J. Augustyn Jr., Library of Congress (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, February 2005
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Summaries
Main Description
Political corruption is easy to define--the use of public office for private gain--but it isn't so readily seen because politicians cover their tracks so well. Four of America's most corrupt mayors and their shady dealings are covered in this work. Big Bill Thompson, who was mayor of Chicago three times, is considered America's worst mayor, having, among other questionable activities, accepted support from gangster Al Capone. Frank Hague of Jersey City described his town as the moralest city in the nation and banished prostitution and pornography, but he saw no evil in gambling and Jersey City became a gambling mecca. Jimmy Walker of New York City was a good time mayor and did well as the city prospered, but cared little for the city's money and his own when the Great Depression struck. James Michael Curley of Boston openly asserted that politics is my business, but he flaunted a lavish home built entirely at the public's expense and was elected again and again, once while he was still in jail.
Main Description
Political corruption is easy to define--the use of public office for private gain--but it isn't so readily seen because politicians cover their tracks so well.Four of America's most corrupt mayors and their shady dealings are covered in this work. "Big Bill" Thompson, who was mayor of Chicago three times, is considered America's worst mayor, having, among other questionable activities, accepted support from gangster Al Capone. Frank Hague of Jersey City described his town as the "moralest city in the nation" and banished prostitution and pornography, but he saw no evil in gambling and Jersey City became a gambling mecca. Jimmy Walker of New York City was a "good time" mayor and did well as the city prospered, but cared little for the city's money and his own when the Great Depression struck. James Michael Curley of Boston openly asserted that "politics is my business," but he flaunted a lavish home built entirely at the public's expense and was elected again and again, once while he was still in jail.
Main Description
Political corruption is easy to define-the use of public office for private gain-but it isn't so readily seen because politicians cover their tracks so well.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. 1
Prologue: Four Funeralsp. 5
Bill Thompson: America's Worst Mayor
From Home on the Range to Hat in the Ringp. 11
The Playboy as Politicianp. 18
To Hell with the Peoplep. 27
America Firstp. 43
Frank Hague: America's Second Worst Mayor
Bad Boy or Momma's Boyp. 69
Mayor of an American Cityp. 80
To Make His Daddy Happyp. 96
Jimmy Walker: America's Third Worst Mayor
Politician and Legislatorp. 109
Mayor of a City That Never Sleepsp. 123
The Mayor and the Inquisitorp. 137
Scandal: The Decline and Fallp. 161
James Michael Curley: America's Fourth Worst Mayor
The Making of a Political Bossp. 175
The Mayor of the Poorp. 188
Winning Isn't Everything - It's the Only Thingp. 213
Epilogue: The Paradox of Political Corruptionp. 241
Notesp. 253
Further Readingp. 263
Indexp. 265
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

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