Graft and corruption: some backstory

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The Gambler King of Clark Street: Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of Chicago's Democratic Machine (Southern Illinois University Press), the new book from local historian Richard C. Lindberg, offers "a colorful glimpse of 19th-century Chicago that reveals quite a bit about why the city is still infected with graft and corruption," writes Mick Dumke in this week's Lit & Lectures Critic's Choice.

Lindberg discusses his portrait of McDonald, in which he "reconstructs how his title character went from conning train passengers as an adolescent in the 1850s to ensuring the 1892 election of Illinois governor John Peter Altgeld," Saturday, August 2, at 2 PM at Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore, 708-771-7243.

Other upcoming Lindberg appearances: Wed 9/30, 7 PM, Niles Public Library, 6960 W. Oakton, Niles, 847-663-1234, and Tue 10/6, 7 PM, Green Hills Public Library, 8611 W. 103rd, Palos Hills, 708-598-8446. And on Saturday, November 7, Lindberg leads the Chicago History Museum's bus tour "Murder and Mystery in Chicago"; the tour runs from 1-5 PM, costs $45, and reservations are required (312-642-4600).

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