• Keith Hale/Sun Times Media
  • Judge Charles E. Freeman swears in Harold Washington as Chicago mayor on April 29, 1983. Outgoing mayor Jane Byrne is at right.

In 1992, Gary Rivlin published Fire on the Prairie, an engrossing account of the seamy side of Chicago politics (if there’s another side to Chicago politics, not even Ben Joravsky has found it) and the election of Harold Washington as the city’s first black mayor. On November 29 Temple University Press releases an updated, revised edition: Fire on the Prairie: Harold Washington, Chicago Politics, and the Roots of the Obama Presidency. It’s the best book ever on Harold Washington.