cover image Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%

Mayor 1%: Rahm Emanuel and the Rise of Chicago’s 99%

Kari Lydersen. Haymarket (Consortium, dist.), $16 trade paper (300p) ISBN 978-1-60846-222-3

Chicago-based journalist Lydersen (Goose Island) returns with a study of charismatic Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. It took just six years for the headstrong politico to go from congressman to Barak Obama’s chief of staff. When Richard M. Daley announced he would not seek reelection as mayor of Chicago in 2010, Emanuel set his sights on that office. Once he was elected, Emanuel critics worried that the mayor was spending a disproportionate amount of time with rich and influential movers and shakers, and not enough time on city politics. His approval ratings were not helped by his proposals to reduce library hours, close mental health clinics, and eliminate many city jobs. The author examines Emanuel’s career from a Chicago-centric perspective, paying particular attention to his tenuous relationship with the city’s unions. Lydersen does a fine job of reporting, but is unable to view Emanuel’s tenure outside the union perspective (which is distinctly hostile to the mayor), and the book suffers as a result. Those hoping for a measured assessment of Emanuel’s political career will likely find this book to be biased. (Dec.)