The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World

Knopf. Feb. 2020. 256p. ISBN 9780525656388. $26.95. POL SCI
Emanuel served as mayor of Chicago from 2011-19, and, before that, served in the U.S. House of Representatives and held varying positions in the Clinton and Obama administrations. In this work, he suggests that the answer to political division lies in governance at the city level, rather than the national level, and maintains that it is the work of mayors to effect long-lasting change. Using examples from his own experiences as well as success stories from other cities, Emanuel shows that true innovation is occurring at the local level, in large and small cities, and under Republican and Democratic mayors alike. These mayors are improving education, infrastructure, and environmental policy for their communities, stepping into areas that were traditionally the realm of federal government, but because the system is either bureaucratic or complex at the national level, it is up to local officials to make things happen.
VERDICT While occasionally repetitive, Emanuel is uniquely positioned to offer this perspective, and it is rare to find a positive book about current politics. He presents a hopeful message that many need to hear.
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