This veteran newsman's account of the tumultuous mayoral race that upended city politics and made Harold Washington the first African-American to lead the city of Chicago offers a bit of political history, some rough character sketches, and snippets of professional memoir. Nolan paints a deft portrait of the political vacuum that ensued after iconic mayor Richard J. Daley's death in 1976 and the players that jockeyed to fill his shoes. As a political reporter, he's well-informed about the way things worked in Chicago, but his periodic departures into what seems to be nostalgia for an outdated model of governance prove distracting. At the same time, the dispassionate recounting of brutal race politics and their inflammatory effect on the 1983 election offers a solid, workmanlike piece of journalistic history. Nolan's dedication to recounting the perspective and political records of bit players, though, means he commits the journalistic sin of burying the lede, noting only in passing that a federal investigation into voter fraud threw Washington's 48,000-vote margin of victory into question.
Reviewed on: 07/09/2012 Release date: 01/01/2012 Genre: Nonfiction