Mayor Harold Washington: Champion of Race and Reform in Chicago by Roger Biles
In 1983, Harold Washington made history by becoming Chicago's first African American mayor. The racially charged campaign and election heralded an era of bitter political divisiveness that obstructed his efforts to change city government.
Roger Biles's sweeping biography provides a definitive account of Washington and his journey. Once in City Hall, Washington confronted the backroom deals, aldermanic thuggery, open corruption, and palm greasing that fueled the Chicago machine's autocratic political regime. His alternative: a vision of fairness, transparency, neighborhood empowerment, and balanced economic growth at one with his emergence as a dynamic champion for African American uplift and a crusader for progressive causes. Biles charts the countless infamies of the Council Wars era and Washington's own growth through his winning of a second term--a promise of lasting reform left unfulfilled when the mayor died in 1987.
Original and authoritative, Mayor Harold Washington redefines a pivotal era in Chicago's modern history.