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Ray Long

Connection to Illinois: Illinois Statehouse Reporter, Chicago Tribune

Biography: Ray Long is a Chicago Tribune investigative reporter and a two-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He has covered Michael Madigan and Illinois politics for more than forty years as a journalist writing for the Chicago Tribune, Associated Press, Chicago Sun-Times, and Peoria Journal Star and The Telegraph of Alton.


Primary Literary Genre(s): Non-Fiction

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers


Selected Titles

The House That Madigan Built: The Record Run of Illinois' Velvet Hammer
ISBN: 0252044479 OCLC:

University of Illinois Press 2022

House Speaker Michael J. Madigan was a record setter, a political powerhouse and one of the most prominent architects of Illinois' destiny. The longest-serving legislative leader in U.S. history, Madigan saw his long reign come to an end, ironically 50 years to the day he first took the oath as a state representative in 1971, and 38 years since he first assumed the Illinois House speakership he'd held for all but two years since. In The Illinois House that Madigan Built, veteran Chicago Tribune investigative reporter and one-time Springfield bureau chief Ray Long unpacks the unprecedented political career of Mike Madigan with fascinating vignettes to mark its highs and lows. Madigan determined when taxes went up, what pension plan would pass, when it is time to approve gay marriage or ban the death penalty. He moved up the Illinois primary to help Barack Obama's race for president. He oversaw the first impeachment of an Illinois governor. Madigan ran his 13th Ward in Chicago with old-school discipline. His opponents noted that Madigan didn't just want to beat them; he wanted to crush their souls. Long traces Madigan's political genealogy to the legendary Chicago mayor, Richard J. Daley. and shows how his old-style patronage ways brought the speaker periodic scrutiny, including as part of the ComEd scandal that eventually cost him the speakership. This book is a balanced, authoritative, deep dive into a figure who not only built the House he led but, in a larger sense, built the house Illinoisans live in --