3 to 5pm
The Fight for Good Government: Machine Politics and Municipal Reform in Chicago, 1955-1966
Richard Anderson, Princeton University
Independent Democrat Martin H. Kennelly’s two terms as mayor of Chicago witnessed a protracted battle over the political culture of the Windy City. Between 1947 and 1955 Kennelly’s administration targeted both patronage hiring and the informal “vice” economy that sustained Chicago’s Democratic machine. The “good government” campaign led by Kennelly and prominent civic organizations faltered when Richard J. Daley ascended to City Hall. The reform crusade nevertheless produced an enduring political discourse that anathematized the system of labor relations undergirding the Democratic machine. Daley maintained control over metropolitan government for the next two decades but the machine never attained full political legitimacy.
Respondents: D.Bradford Hunt, The Newberry Library and Joseph Bigott, Purdue University
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