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This title in other editions

The rascal king :the life and times of James Michael Curley, 1874-1958

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The rascal king :the life and times of James Michael Curley, 1874-1958 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Review:

From Kirkus
A delightful and shrewd biography of four-time Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, the sinner-saint whose ``shamrock politics'' made his Irish-Catholic supporters cheer and his WASP opponents sputter with rage for half a century. As portrayed by Beatty, a senior editor of The Atlantic, Curley was more complicated than the charmingly roguish big-city mayor of Edwin O'Connor's thinly fictionalized The Last Hurrah. Beatty pays this most colorful of politicians the ultimate tribute by taking his career seriously. To be sure, the author has a full quota of rollicking anecdotes (e.g., Curley's quip that a ramp built by one of his pet contractors had collapsed because of "an injudicious mixture of sand and cement"). Yet Beatty thinks it a mistake to see Curley as an old-style machine politician. Instead, Curley foreshadowed today's "entrepreneurial candidate": A lone-wolf professional politician, he ran in 32 elections, serving as congressman, governor, and Boston's mayor. Moreover, Curley resembled Marion Barry in using his virtuoso talent for playing upon ethnic resentment to fend off outcries against flagrant corruption (Curley served two jail terms, and as governor purged political opponents and paroled and pardoned convicted killers). Beatty's balance sheet on this gifted but flawed politician is detailed and just. On the plus side stood Curley's rococo oratory; his building of such major institutions as the Boston City Hospital; his farsighted advocacy of programs later embodied in the New Deal and the Great Society; and his emphasis on work instead of welfare for constituents. On the other side, his graft; arrogance toward those he claimed to serve as "Mayor of the Poor"; and responsibility for sending Boston into long-term decline by soaking the city's businesses with taxes to pay for municipal improvements. Funny, fair-minded, and refreshingly novel in finding contemporary relevance in a pol long dismissed as an anachronism of the boss era.

Synopsis:

This is a biography of the politician who "was four times mayor of Boston, once governor of Massachusetts, {and} twice a congressional representative." (Libr J) Index.

Description:

Includes bibliographical references (p. 525-556) and index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780201175998
Subtitle:
(the life and times of James Michael Curley, 1874-1958 )
Author:
Beatty, Jack
Publisher:
Addison-Wesley
Location:
Reading, Mass. :
Subject:
Massachusetts
Subject:
Irish americans
Subject:
Governors
Subject:
Mayors
Subject:
Irish Americans -- Massachusetts -- Politics and government.
Copyright:
Series Volume:
9424
Publication Date:
c1992
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
x, 571 p.

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Related Subjects

» Biography » Political
» History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Immigration
» History and Social Science » US History » 1920 to 1960

The rascal king :the life and times of James Michael Curley, 1874-1958 Used Hardcover
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Product details x, 571 p. pages Addison-Wesley,c1992. - English 9780201175998 Reviews:
"Review" by , From Kirkus
A delightful and shrewd biography of four-time Boston Mayor James Michael Curley, the sinner-saint whose ``shamrock politics'' made his Irish-Catholic supporters cheer and his WASP opponents sputter with rage for half a century. As portrayed by Beatty, a senior editor of The Atlantic, Curley was more complicated than the charmingly roguish big-city mayor of Edwin O'Connor's thinly fictionalized The Last Hurrah. Beatty pays this most colorful of politicians the ultimate tribute by taking his career seriously. To be sure, the author has a full quota of rollicking anecdotes (e.g., Curley's quip that a ramp built by one of his pet contractors had collapsed because of "an injudicious mixture of sand and cement"). Yet Beatty thinks it a mistake to see Curley as an old-style machine politician. Instead, Curley foreshadowed today's "entrepreneurial candidate": A lone-wolf professional politician, he ran in 32 elections, serving as congressman, governor, and Boston's mayor. Moreover, Curley resembled Marion Barry in using his virtuoso talent for playing upon ethnic resentment to fend off outcries against flagrant corruption (Curley served two jail terms, and as governor purged political opponents and paroled and pardoned convicted killers). Beatty's balance sheet on this gifted but flawed politician is detailed and just. On the plus side stood Curley's rococo oratory; his building of such major institutions as the Boston City Hospital; his farsighted advocacy of programs later embodied in the New Deal and the Great Society; and his emphasis on work instead of welfare for constituents. On the other side, his graft; arrogance toward those he claimed to serve as "Mayor of the Poor"; and responsibility for sending Boston into long-term decline by soaking the city's businesses with taxes to pay for municipal improvements. Funny, fair-minded, and refreshingly novel in finding contemporary relevance in a pol long dismissed as an anachronism of the boss era.
"Synopsis" by , This is a biography of the politician who "was four times mayor of Boston, once governor of Massachusetts, {and} twice a congressional representative." (Libr J) Index.
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