Big City Politics: A Comparative Guide to the Political Systems of Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, El Paso, Los Angeles, Miami, Philadelphia, St. Louis and Seattle

New York: Random House, 1965.

“Edward Banfield’s introductory essay crisply summarizes this book’s purpose, content and probable audience. It is designed to be a compact and informative description of political decision making in nine American cities…. Banfield’s style is highly readable and will be interesting to students. (For example, the -governmental form of Los Angeles is described as resulting in a “mayor almost too weak to cut ribbons.”)….  The formula is one of background information coupled with a description of normal operations and current practice. Each essay is roughly 15 pages long and follows the same format: Population and Economy; How the Government is Organized; How It Really Works (which is not nearly as muckraking as that title implies); How They Get Elected; Interest Groups and Influentials; and How Issues Are Handled. In the front of the book is an extremely brief bibliography of current studies on each of the cities.” — Charlie Press

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