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BERTHA KNIGHT LANDES OF SEATTLE: BIG -CITY MAYOR.

Haarsager, Sandra

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ISBN 10: 0806125926 / ISBN 13: 9780806125923
Published by Norman/London: Univ. of Oklahoma Pr. c. 1994., 1994
Hardcover
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Fine, unmarked, illus. Hardback; DJ-Fine. xv + 334 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 024774

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Bibliographic Details

Title: BERTHA KNIGHT LANDES OF SEATTLE: BIG -CITY ...

Publisher: Norman/London: Univ. of Oklahoma Pr. c. 1994.

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

About this title

Synopsis:

Book by Haarsager, Sandra

From Kirkus Reviews:

Journalist/Communications professor (Univ. of Idaho) Haarsager on the subject of first woman elected mayor of a major American city (1926-28). Launched into public life by her prodigious work in Seattle's women's clubs, Bertha Knight Landes brought a moralist's agenda to her campaigns for city council president, acting mayor, and then mayor. Once in office, she abandoned her posture as mother-of- Seattle and governed pragmatically, until unseated by a media-genic scoundrel who pioneered the art of the last-minute negative ad campaign. Haarsager's study has a few choice moments--e.g., the time Acting Mayor Landes seized on the Mayor's temporary absence to fire the police chief, declare a city-wide emergency, and appoint herself chief of police--but her portrait of Landes is remarkably devoid of psychological depth. (Her infrequent attempts to humanize her subject--``Landes felt sick to her stomach''--are labored and jarring.) Meanwhile, Haarsager has a few Big Themes that she pounds away at with an academic's weakness for formulas (``She overcame her nineteenth century past to take on a public career,''etc.); at its worst, her writing is absurdly pedantic (``To deconstruct the phrase `petticoat rule' one has to recognize that the petticoat, as a piece of attire seldom seen anywhere outside the privacy of the bedroom, is a word with sexual overtones''). The jargon-filled ``post-script'' applying the ideas of historian Michel Foucault and anthropologist Victor Turner is likely to be skipped by the general reader. A potentially rich subject given a plodding, didactic treatment. -- Copyright 1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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