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Harold, the People’s Mayor: The Biography of Harold Washington

Ratings:
526 pages7 hours

Summary

“Harold Washington was one of the most spellbinding and irresistible characters I have encountered in my 40 years in journalism and politics. Part philosopher, part street brawler and always entertaining, Harold was as big and ebullient as the town he came to lead.” —David Axelrod, former senior advisor to President Barack Obama



Harold, the People's Mayor is the authorized biography of Chicago's first black mayor, written by the late civil rights activist and prolific author Dempsey Travis, a man whose personal friendship with Washington spanned more than 50 years. Travis drew on recollections, notes, and several hundred hours' worth of interviews with Washington and his close associates in order to craft a portrait of Washington that spans his childhood, military years, political career, and death. Travis gained deep insights into Washington during the years he knew him, both as a boy and a man, and those combined with his encyclopedic knowledge of Chicago politics have resulted in an essential work of political biography and Chicago history.

Published to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Washington's untimely passing, this is a firsthand personal account of the life and career of one of the country's most significant big-city mayors and influential African American politicians, a man who former President Barack Obama credits as an inspiration.

Moving, comprehensive, and well-researched, Harold, the People's Mayor is required reading for anyone interested in 20th-century big-city politics and in this remarkable figure and how he lived, worked, and rose to transform the political landscape of Chicago.

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