Synopses & Reviews
This is the definitive book on Portland's political, social, and cultural history, beginning in 1845 when a 16-lot townsite was laid out on the bank of the Willamette River and continuing through April 2001, the 150th anniversary of Portland city government.
Jewel Lansing has amassed a treasure trove of information on Portland's civic and political life, which she presents in a readable style, organized around an account of the successive reigns of Portland's 44 mayors. The story is enlivened by anecdotes that bring to life the unique individuals and controversial issues of Portland's distant and more recent past.
Lansing shows that Portland's path to its present place as the 28th largest city in the United States, with a deserved reputation as one of the nation's most livable cities, has not always been smooth, and its story is far from dull.
Corruption, profiteering, and wide-open vice characterized the City of Roses at the turn of the century, and every era has had its own controversies and rivalries: disputes over railroad franchises and rights-of-way, women's suffrage, public versus private power, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Prohibition, and the siting of freeways, to name just a few. Colorful personalities, from Populist governor-turned-mayor Sylvester Pennoyer to tavern-owner-turned-mayor Bud Clark, have emerged in every period, as the city has grown and its government evolved from a small group of volunteers to a complex bureaucracy with 8,000 employees and a $1.1 billion budget.
Anyone with an interest in Portland, and in learning more about the individuals, events, and issues that have shaped it, will find this comprehensive history fascinating and extremely informative.
"A fascinating history of Portland. This book is a vast source of information, yet is rich with amusing anecdotes and sparkling stories that bring Portland's past, from its beginnings to the events and issues of today, to vivid life. Every Portlander every Oregonian should read this wonderful book." former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts
"Deeply researched, richly detailed, and ably organized. Along with the works of Carl Abbott and E. Kimbark MacColl, this book is an essential reference for anyone studying the history of Portland." Chet Orloff, former director, Oregon Historical Society
"The standard reference for individuals interested in basic facts about Portland's development." Carl Abbott, Professor of Urban Studies, Portland State University, and author of Greater Portland: Urban Life and Landscape in the Pacific Northwest
Portland: People, Politics, and Power, 18512001 is the definitive book on Portland's political, social, and cultural history.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 552-560) and index.
About the Author
Jewel Lansing served as the elected City of Portland Auditor from 1983 to 1986 and as Multnomah County Auditor from 1975 to 1982. She is a founder of WIN-PAC, a political action committee supporting first-time Oregon women legislative candidates. She is the author of five other books, including two about women and politics, and a murder mystery set in Portland City Hall. She and her husband, Ron, a law professor at Lewis and Clark College, have lived in Oregon for more than four decades.