A Prayer for the City (Paperback)
Current Affairs/Urban Studies
"An extraordinary book, an insider's account of the daily
workings of a big-city administration."
--Witold Rybczynski, The New York Review of Books
A Prayer for the City is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Buzz Bissinger's true epic of Philadelphia mayor Ed Rendell, an utterly unique, unorthodox, and idiosyncratic leader who will do anything to save his city: take unions head on, personally lobby President Clinton to save 10,000 defense jobs, or wrestle Smiley the Pig on Hot Dog Day--all the while bearing in mind the eternal fickleness of constituents whose favor may hinge on a missed garbage pick-up or an overzealous meter maid. It is also the story of citizens in crisis: a woman fighting ceaselessly to give her great-grandchildren a better life, a father of six who may lose his job at the Navy Shipyard, and a policy analyst whose experiences as a crime victim tempt her to abandon her job and ideals. Heart-wrenching and hilarious, alive with detail and insight, A Prayer for the City describes a city on its knees and the rare combination of political courage and optimism that may be the only hope for America's urban centers.
"A Prayer for the City gives a unique insider account. . . . [It] is a superb book. . . . Bissinger's writing, sparse and urgent, always shines . . . and his narrative crackles with descriptive force." --The Miami Herald
"A full-scale portrait of a struggling American metropolis that brings to mind such classics of urban reportage and analysis as J. Anthony Lukas's Common Ground and Nicholas Lemann's Promised Land."
--The New York Times Book Review
"What we see through Bissinger's unique lens is profoundly touching and inspiring, poignant and sad. . . . If you really want to feel the
heartbeat of the American city--and find a source of hope for its
revival--you will find it here." --The Philadelphia Inquirer
About the Author
Buzz Bissinger is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author of four books, including the New York Times bestseller 3 Nights in August and Friday Night Lights, which has sold two million copies and inspired a film and TV franchise. He is a contributing editor for Vanity Fair and a sports columnist for The Daily Beast. He has written for the New York Times, The New Republic, Time and many other publications.
Robert Clark is the author of the novels "In the Deep Midwinter" and "Mr. White's Confession," as well as "River of the West," a cultural history of the Columbia River, and "The Solace of Food," a biography of James Beard. He is also the recipient of the Edgar Award for Best Mystery. A native of St. Paul, Minneapolis, he lives in Seattle with his wife and two children.