From an interdisciplinary perspective that draws on sociology, political science, and other disciplines, Truchil (Rider Univ.) offers a new and practical perspective on a dictum uttered by former house speaker Tip O'Neill—all politics is local. Although this dictum has been debated widely by scholars and citizens, a review of the local government literature illustrates major research gaps, including the lack of recent scholarship on the inner workings of small towns and suburbia. To close this gap in the literature and offer findings accessible to larger audiences, Truchil draws on his many years of experiences as a town official and pursues an active sociological inquiry that seeks to answer questions. Informed by extensive service in government and guided by public sociology, Truchil demystifies the financial operation of local government by examining the idea of a balanced budget, tricks of fund accounting, and subsequent interdepartmental tensions. The in-depth, hands-on discussion continues with analyses of how disputes unfold within the conceptual context of the local growth machine, the pursuit of progressive politics, and illegal and legal forms of corruption in local government.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.