I’ve never seen the movie with Spencer Tracy, however my grandmother gave
me this book in an omnibus with another O’Connor book. This follow Frank
Skeffington, the democratic mayor of an east coast city as he runs for
Mayor one last time.
A career politician, Frank is corrupt, entitled and yet burdened. He feels
the need to keep up the political machine for all those who depend on it.
His wayward vacant son, the lackeys who have no other job than saying yes,
the unions who need government help to function. He likes his job and
though very old for his time (the story takes place in the 1950s)
Skeffington feels he’d like to give it one last go.
Along for the ride, Frank invites his nephew Adam to witness this last
campaign race. As Skeffington goes around to parties, funerals, and kisses
babies he must face the new medium of television and a new set of young
Written in the go get’em style of the time it was easy to see how shallow
some characters were and find the depth in others. Nicknames flew around
quickly making it hard to follow who was who sometimes. I felt for Andrew
who had to balance his home life with a very Republican wife, a job with a
very Republican boss and flitting about the city with his not always liked
I didn’t really like Frank though. He was kind of sympathetic but his time
was past and it seemed like he knew it.