Don't Make No Waves—Don't Back No Losers: An Insider's Analysis of the Daley Machine, the late Milton Rakove's classic about the former Democratic mayor's political machine, was featured in the June 26 episode of NPR's Morning Edition. Commentors on the segment, "Four Books to Help You Master Chicago Politics," included NPR's Steve Inskeep; former Chicago Bureau chief for NPR, Scott Simon; Frank James of NPR's It's All Politics blog fame; and former editor of the Chicago Tribune, Ann Marie Lipinski.
"The beauty of the ward system," he said, "was that you had somebody who lived in your neighborhood whom you could go to and say something as modest as, 'Look, I really need my trash picked up,' which is not modest, if it begins to pile up."
Yet there was also the pervasive sense of inequality and corruption, evinced at alderman's 'ward nights' during the Daley era.
"Every alderman had one," Lipinski, the former Tribune editor, said. "It was this parade of favor-askers, and if you were not somehow beloved or in the good graces of the alderman, you may or may not get your trash can changed that week."
The other works featured in the segment were Mike Royko's Boss: Richard J. Daley of Chicago; James Merriner's Grafters and Goo Goos: Corruption and Reform in Chicago; and Alex Kolowitz's There are No Children Here: The Story of Two Boys Growing Up in the Other America.