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The House That Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois' Velvet Hammer

The House That Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois' Velvet Hammer cover

The House That Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois' Velvet Hammer

By  Ray Long , Foreword by  Charles N. Wheeler III
$ 29.95
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Michael Madigan rose from the Chicago machine to hold unprecedented power as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. In his thirty-six years wielding the gavel, Madigan outlasted governors, passed or blocked legislation at will, and outmaneuvered virtually every attempt to limit his reach.

Veteran reporter Ray Long draws on four decades of observing state government to provide the definitive political analysis of Michael Madigan. Secretive, intimidating, shrewd, power-hungry--Madigan mesmerized his admirers and often left his opponents too beaten down to oppose him. Long vividly recreates the battles that defined the Madigan era, from stunning James Thompson with a lightning-strike tax increase, to pressing for a pension overhaul that ultimately failed in the courts, to steering the House toward the Rod Blagojevich impeachment. Long also shines a light on the machinery that kept the Speaker in power. Head of a patronage army, Madigan ruthlessly used his influence and fundraising prowess to reward loyalists and aid his daughter’s electoral fortunes. At the same time, he reshaped bills to guarantee he and his Democratic troops shared in the partisan spoils of his legislative victories. Yet Madigan’s position as the state’s seemingly invulnerable power broker could not survive scandals among his close associates and the widespread belief that his time as Speaker had finally reached its end.

Unsparing and authoritative, The House That Madigan Built is the page-turning account of one the most powerful politicians in Illinois history.

Ray Long is a Chicago Tribune investigative reporter and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has covered Michael Madigan and Illinois politics for more than forty years as a journalist writing for the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times, and Peoria Journal Star and The Telegraph of Alton.

ISBN: 9780252044472

ISBN-10: 9780252044472

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Publication Date: 03/22/2022 - 12:00am

On Sale: 03/22/2022 - 12:00am

Pages: 312

Language: English


Political Science / American Government / State

Biography & Autobiography / Political

History / United States / State & Local / Midwest (IA, IL, IN, KS, MI, MN, MO, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI)