100 Books for America: Prayer for the City

With 83 days until the election, let us continue looking at the 100 books every American should read. These write-ups will be short and not incredibly comprehensive looks at some books and novels that will help you become a better citizen. Check out all of the books that have been picked.

I’m going to get something out of the way at the start: I’m no Ed Rendell fan. He’s smarmy. He full of himself. He’s the epitome of that era of democrat – Like Bill Clinton and Terry McAuliffe – who is usually more trouble than he’s worth.

But I can’t deny that he busted his tail for the city of Philadelphia.

The story of his time as mayor is expertly told by Buzz Bissinger in “A Prayer for the City.”

The cantankerous cynic found reason to believe in Rendell as he followed the man’s attempts at saving a dying city.

Bissinger is a master storyteller.

Maybe the most ironic thing about the book, if you read it for the first time today, is that you see what President Trump could have been, if he’d decided to put in the work.

See, he and Rendell are cut from the same cloth. They’re both charmers with chips on their shoulder. They’re both obnoxious. And impulsive.

But Rendell got to work, down into the nitty gritty. He got to know his opponents and his supporters in government and found ways to make them work together.

Of course, not everything is a success for Rendell, who desperately tries to reestablish the Navy Yards as a dominant force.

But through his successes and failures, he builds an almost culture following because people he would never mingle with believe he’s one of them.


Previously, we looked at an American Prophet. Up next, an American tragedy.

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