From the moment of its inception as a city in 1837, Chicago has been systematically seduced, looted and pilloried by an aeonian horde of venal politicians, mercenary businessmen and sadistic gangsters. Nothing has changed in more than 130 years."" This, the burden of Demaris' (co-author with Reid of Green Felt Jungle, 1963) long, close look at the Chicago underworld in collusion with politicians, the police and the courts who ""keep the wheels of the machine in motion."" Demaris names names and games down the line from Sam Giancana, ""boss of all bosses"" (Mafia) to Felix ""Milwaukee Phil"" Alderisio, ""king of scam,"" to Pops Panzko (Cicero)--""I have been arrested two hundred times and I have spent a total of five years in the pen."" The games include labor racketeering, gambling, juice, deals with and ownership of the entertainment industry (Playboy and clubs appear in this connection); the West Side Bloc under Mayor Daley's aegis, the scandals which come ""in bunches like bananas"" in the Metropolitan Sanitation District of Greater Chicago. Orlando Winfield Wilson's incumbency as police superintendent hasn't hurt the Syndicate a bit. Then there are the judges who hold back or back down. Attorney General Katzenbach attributed the lack of progress in Chicago to the difficulty in getting people to testify. Chicagoans won't talk; but Demaris delivers--a clean, hard blow at the captors of the Captive City.