A large Northeastern city is embroiled in a busing controversy and Mayor Jake O'Connor, troubled by home and school associations, rejects diplomatic fence-straddling and opts for open, honest government--a fairy tale that might make it on TV but can't stand up elsewhere. The characters in this limping scenario are strictly one-dimensional: an ethnic mix of politicos, the contrasting WASPs of wife Paula's moneyed family, and a few local leaders modeled on Louise Hicks and other neighborhood familiars. Jake, trapped between a court order and the upcoming election, hopscotches uneasily during the day and downs Scotch liberally at night, receiving advice from all quarters including aristocratic, archly idealistic Paula, who uses her big checkbook behind his back and so contributes to the pivotal confrontation. After a loud exchange of lies and insults, they separate, then make up at the traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner following his Major Speech--a typical testimonial that galvanizes the house. Chippendale in the bedroom, deals in the hall, and a few new faces in the backroom, but inevitably an also-ran.
Used availability for Thomas Fleming's Rulers of the City
June 1977 : USA Hardback
April 1980 : USA Paperback