Even if the names are unfamiliar, these recollections and comments by Chicago pols offer a curbstone look at machine politics only yesterday--and today. Chicago's machine, a rarity now, is ""layered through the county, city, ward, and precinct levels,"" says political scientist Milton Rakove (Univ. of Illinois, Chicago Circle), and we meet practitioners from all ethnic and racial groups. They describe their family and professional backgrounds, their beginnings in politics, their thoughts on Daley (who died during the book's preparation) and on the system. Jacob Arvey (d. 1977) found Daley ""short-tempered, very suspicious, and chauvinistic"" (about Chicago); and advises--to get out the vote, ""put people under obligation to you."" Former Alderman Vito ""I'm-the-elected-boss-in-this-ward"" Marzullo describes a precinct captain as the one people go to when they need something done, while one of his 25th ward captains remarks, ""I do the will of the people who are in office."" We also hear a young alderman predict resurgence of ward power post-Daley; precinct captains explain how their efforts (i.e., not vote-stealing) brought lopsided victories to JFK and LBJ; suburban leaders complain of almost no ""patronage to speak of, because we can't produce votes."" Mayor Jane Byrne describes her first, unpromising encounter with Daley in the Sixties, former Republican Governor Dan Walker explains ""accommodation"" (""you keep your hands off Chicago""), Senator Adlai Stevenson III attests to his fondness for Daley, and former Mayor Bilandic delivers a eulogy. Not new, but then that's the interest here--Plunkitt lives!