Civil Civics with Lincoln Library: Ray Long and "The House That Madigan Built"

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Program Type:

Lecture Series

Age Group:

Teens, Adults
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Program Description

Lecture Series

Enjoy a local expert discussing a topic of interest.

Event Details

Ray Long, reporter from the Chicago Tribune, will be here discussing his book, The House That Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois' Velvet Hammer. Charlie Wheeler, who wrote the foreword, will be joining him. Bring your own copy to have it signed.

Published in March 2022, The House That Madigan Built captures how politics worked in Illinois up through Madigan's loss of the speakership in 2021. The book tells the story of the nation’s longest-serving leader of any state or national legislative chamber by using vivid examples of Illinois political and government history: the power plays that saved the White Sox and passed income tax hikes, the pension crisis, the impeachment of Gov. Rod Blagojevich, and the political struggles that left Illinois deadlocked without a budget for two years. With a deft touch, the author weaves in anecdotes about Barack Obama, a graduate of the Illinois Senate, and negotiations with Govs. Jim Thompson, Jim Edgar, George Ryan, Bruce Rauner, Pat Quinn and J.B. Pritzker.  

The House That Madigan Built takes those interested in Illinois government and journalism through the rough-and-tumble business of ward-style politics, patronage schemes, campaign fund-raising, and the intricacies of all-important redistricting maneuvers. Real news junkies will be able to point to the influence of Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley’s on Madigan’s political career, and how the longtime speaker played significant roles in the rise of Attorney General Lisa Madigan and her decision to decline a run for governor. The book also presents the back stories of how major news broke open sexual harassment scandals among Madigan’s misbehaving aides and the scoops that outlined the federal investigation that led to him giving up the House seat he held for more than 50 years. The House That Madigan Built, which came out the same month as his 22-count racketeering indictment, walks readers to the doorstep of his indictment—a case that may play out in court for years. To understand what's happening in Illinois now and in the future, pick up a copy.