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Royko: A Life In Print
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Royko: A Life In Print

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  9 reviews
With the incisive pen of a newspaperman and the compassionate soul of a poet, Mike Royko was a Chicago institution who became, in Jimmy Breslin's words, "the best journalist of his time." Royko was by all accounts a difficult man, who would chew out his assistants every morning and retire to the Billy Goat Tavern every night. But his writing was magic. No one captured Chic ...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published January 7th 2003 by PublicAffairs (first published May 29th 2001)
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There was a time when I thought Mike Royko was a “bleeding heart” with a “foul mouth,” but a brilliant sense of humor. I read his syndicated column (when I could find it) with the same kind of gusto I devoured Art Buchwald’s (when I could find it). At the time, I neither lived in the Chicago of Royko or “The City” of Buchwald. Yet, each columnist expressed their city, the culture underpinning that city, and the significance of that city in ways that, as a young man, I couldn’t explain. Reading M ...more
I grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, where for 30 years breakfast was served with a side of Mike Royko. He was the most influential newspaper columnist of his time and a student of the Chicago political machine, as well as an inspiration to thousands of journalists. My parents wouldn't ask each other what was on the front page. They poured coffee and said, "What's Royko got today?"

Sharp, funny and straight to the point, Royko dug into Chicago government and civic life and found humor and p
Mike Royko was Chicago personified, a hard-working, hard-drinking, hard-living journalist whose newspaper column for 30 years spoke to the ordinary Joe. At least it did at first, and for a long time. But in his later years, he was a hater, not merely a curmudgeon. He turned sour. It was a shame.

I'd strongly recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand Royko, Chicago politics, Chicago journalism, or just wants a good biography to read. Ciccone does an excellent job not merely describing
The book could have benifited from a good editing job to cut out a lot of wordiness and fluff, but it is worth reading to die hard Royko fans for the intimate stories told by friends and family members.
Pete Nickeas
The author detailed Royko's life without judgment (and I think there's a lot people can find fault with). There is a ton of news history in this book, even beyond the details of Royko's life. I've read that people think this is the most authoritative and complete look at a complicated man's life, a full tour of his life behind what people read in the column. I'm glad I read this, even not having read almost any of his newspaper work.
Solid but unspectacular biography of the great writer. With such a rich subject, a biographer would be hard-pressed not to write a decent book, but that's about all this is - decent. Royko fans would be better off reading his great compilations instead.
Rob Mentzer
Bought this bio of one of my idols for a dollar at a garage sale. It is much too hagiographic, but I am paging through it for good Chicago journalism stories. I'm skipping a lot of pages but that is okay, you can read quicker that way.
The book is a great reminder of what it means to be a Chicagoan, told through the story of a person who embodies the ethos that the city instills in its citizens. A truly fascinating read.
Mike Royko is a unique Chicago voice and this collection of his colums is a nice pop-cultural/political walk through Chicago.
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