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Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers
Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers by Jessica Trounstine
Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers Author: Jessica Trounstine
Title: Political Monopolies in American Cities: The Rise and Fall of Bosses and Reformers
ISBN: 0226812812
ISBN13: 978-0226812816
Other Formats: lit azw txt mbr
Pages: 296 pages
Publisher: University of Chicago Press (September 15, 2008)
Language: English
Category: Other
Size PDF version: 1848 kb
Size EPUB version: 1354 kb
Subcategory: Social Sciences




Around the same time that Richard J. Daley governed Chicago, greasing the wheels of his notorious political machine during a tenure that lasted from 1955 to his death in 1976, Anthony “Dutch” Hamann’s “reform” government centralized authority to similar effect in San Jose. In light of their equally exclusive governing arrangements—a similarity that seems to defy their reputations—Jessica Trounstine asks whether so-called bosses and reformers are more alike than we might have realized.Situating her in-depth studies of Chicago and San Jose in the broad context of data drawn from more than 240 cities over the course of a century, she finds that the answer—a resounding yes—illuminates the nature of political power. Both political machines and reform governments, she reveals, bias the system in favor of incumbents, effectively establishing monopolies that free governing coalitions from dependence on the support of their broader communities. Ironically, Trounstine goes on to show, the resulting loss of democratic responsiveness eventually mobilizes residents to vote monopolistic regimes out of office. Envisioning an alternative future for American cities, Trounstine concludes by suggesting solutions designed to free urban politics from this damaging cycle.