Fire on the Prairie
- Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency
- Narrated by: George Orlando
- Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 02-15-13
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
Regular price: $24.95
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In 1983 Chicago elected Harold Washington as the city's first black mayor. This is the story of Washington's improbable victory over Jane Byrne, heir to the late Richard J. Daley's political empire, and over Daley's eldest son. It's the story of a coalition outside the party's mainstream coming to power and ruling in the country's most political of cities. In Fire on the Prairie, Gary Rivlin reveals the personalities and philosophies of those who were at the center of events, from black separatists such as Lu Palmer to community organizers such as Jesse Jackson, and from white liberals who held Washington at arm's length to Chicago originals like Ed Vrdolyak, the opposition's leader.
At the center of the drama was Harold Washington, an enigmatic yet engaging figure who fashioned an uneasy but potent multiracial coalition that ruled for five years. The conflicts and compromises of all are described in vivid detail and the resulting history is a thorough account of an election and an administration that captured the nation's attention. Like Mississippi in the 1960s or Boston in the 1970s, Chicago in the 1980s was the stage for a drama that revealed the dimensions of America's racial politics and offered insights and inspiration for future generations.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Nick on 04-17-13
Good material, terrible narrator
Would you consider the audio edition of Fire on the Prairie to be better than the print version?
Not a bit.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I suppose Harold Washington. It's non-fiction, and doesn't really have "characters".
How did the narrator detract from the book?
The narrator's inability to pronounce English words correctly, and to accent syllables the way that a human being should, is so distracting that it makes it hard to absorb the (excellent) information.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
By Steve Dorner on 01-28-18
Fascinating with flaws
What did you like best about this story?
This is a fascination story about the man and the forces involved in the first African-American mayoralty in Chicago. The comparison and contrast with Barack Obama's compaign and Presidency is most interesting.
Would you listen to another book narrated by George Orlando?
The narration flowed well and was easy to understand. It was marred, however, by myriad mispronunciations, not only of ethnic Chicago names but also of many ordinary English words.
Any additional comments?
If you care about racial politics (which is at the core of ALL American politics), this is a must-read.