Picks and Pans Review: A Prayer for the City

UPDATED 04/06/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/06/1998 at 01:00 AM EDT

by Buzz Bissinger

Lincoln Steffens, the turn-of-the-century author, once called Philadelphia "the most American of our greater cities." And when a feisty lawyer named Ed Rendell took over as mayor in 1992, its problems were as troubling as any American city's: street crime out of control, a dearth of jobs, atrocious public housing and a moribund urban bureaucracy.

Pulitzer Prize winner Buzz Bissinger—whose 1991 book. Friday Night Lights was a brilliant glimpse of high school football in small-town Texas—spent Rendell's entire first term watching behind the scenes as this impressive but flawed politician tried to save his city.

Written with grace, humanity and life-affirming irony (one moment Rendell is reacting to a 15-year-old's murder conviction, the next, trying to rescue a beauty pageant), this compelling book offers evidence that it will take more than conviction and political derring-do to answer our big cities' prayers. (Random House, $25.95)

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Adam Levine's Wedding Details!
  • James Garner: 1928-2014

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine


From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners