The Life and Times of Mayor Richard J. Daley[ENTER]This churchly version of the life of Mayor Richard J. Daley, by a...

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The Life and Times of Mayor Richard J. Daley[ENTER]This churchly version of the life of Mayor Richard J. Daley, by a well-known writer on spiritual subjects, portrays him as an emblem of Irish-Catholic virtues and political aspirations attained through ""discipline and loyalty"" ingrained in his Bridgeport upbringing, Christian Brothers education, and long apprenticeship in Chicago ward politics. Kennedy's image of Daley crosses the Irish warrior Cuchulain (""chieftainship was the right metaphor"") with Frank Skeffington, the old pol of The Last Hurrah writ large. Unfortunately, it is the former image which dominates, casting a mythic and heroic aura over Daley's long stranglehold on Chicago politics, invoking a passionate and holy relationship with the city (to him it was ""'Our Lady of the Lake' and he would never stop building shrines and lighting candles to her""). It is a picture that would make Mike Royko (Boss, 1971) and most other political journalists wince, perpetuating as it does Daley's undeserved image as protector of working-class neighborhoods and adding to it Daley, the secret opponent of the Vietnam War. As to 1968, the Chicago convention, and the riots that followed the King assassination--during which Daley gave the infamous order to ""cripple and maim"" looters--Kennedy sees him as swept up in the GÖtterdÄmmerung furies of that year and therefore not fully accountable. That Daley acted as the ""conservator king"" of the values of Bridgeport, the old neighborhood where he lived his entire life, is believable. But Kennedy, from an excess of affection, enlarges both Bridgeport and Daley beyond measure.

Pub Date: March 1, 1978

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1978