GRASSROOTS GOVERNMENT: The County in American Politics by Susan Walker Torrence

GRASSROOTS GOVERNMENT: The County in American Politics

Email this review


Torrence is a mouthpiece for the National Association of Counties. ""Now,"" she proposes ""some [which?] political scientists and practical politicians feel that counties may be the local government of the future."" With charts, tables and diagrams, she describes the functions, financing, organization and political situation of various administrations, complaining that counties are the poor relatives of federal and state governments and that cities are their competitors for leadership and public services. She advocates more regional cooperation, a reallocation of services such as libraries, mental health facilities, colleges and a shift to an executive type of government at the county level; i.e., more power to the counties. This book is remarkable for its political naivete (""most public employees reflect the interests of the constituents they serve. After all, they too are part of the general public"") and its resentment of any challenge whatsoever, whether from other officials, unions or taxpayers, to the authority of county managers. Torrence dedicates her book to the uninformed citizen, but in fact it serves the petty bureaucrat.

Pub Date: July 15th, 1974
Publisher: Luce - dist. by McKay