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The City, RevisitedUrban Theory from Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York$
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Dennis R. Judd and Dick Simpson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665754

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665754.001.0001

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The Mayor among His Peers

The Mayor among His Peers

Interpreting Richard M. Daley

(p.242) 12 The Mayor among His Peers
The City, Revisited

Larry Bennett

University of Minnesota Press

Mayor Richard J. Daley dominated Chicago’s public affairs from the mid-1950s until the mid-1970s, during these two decades substantially centralizing Cook County Democratic Party operations. This chapter examines Daley’s two-decade-long mayoralty. It discusses how Daley led Chicago against the context of evolving mayoral practice across the United States. It looks at contemporary Chicago’s self-promotion as a global city, in order to identify how this policy vision emerged, the salient features of the Daley administration’s engagement with globalization, and the local effects of implementing the policies that advance this vision. The discussion of Chicago particulars is further connected to a framework for interpreting mayoral initiatives across the field of US cities. While contemporary trends in Chicago cannot be understood without a healthy respect for the undead hand of the local past, the defining assumption of so much political commentary on this city—that Chicago is a machine city, and always will be—narrows understanding through its insistence that all Chicago politics is local, that the present is an undeviating, straight-line extrapolation from the local past.

Keywords:   Richard J. Daley, Chicago, public affairs, political machine, local politics, Cook County Democratic Party

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