Martin Tolchin capped a forty-year career at The New York Times, where he reported on Congress and politics, by becoming founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Hill newspaper. He also was the founding senior publisher and editor of Politico. He is now a Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Susan J. Tolchin is Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University and the author of The Angry American: How Voter Rage is Changing the Nation (Westview Press, 1996 and 1998), and Women in the U.S. Congress, among several other books. Together the Tolchins have written seven previous books, most recently, A World Ignited: How Apostles of Ethnic, Religious, and Racial Hatred Torch the Globe (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006) and Glass Houses: Congressional Ethics and the Politics of Venom (Westview Press, 2009-new in paperback).
Here is a well-written, well-researched book that provides a solid understanding of the dynamics of the new style of patronage at the local, state, and national levels of government. Highly recommended. -CHOICE The process of patronage--performing favors and offering lucrative positions or rewards to people who raise money or offer service--has always been a part of government, but not to the extent that it is in American politics today, argue the Tolchins in this fascinating expose. Once defined by reliable blue-collar jobs and gifts of food to the poor, patronage has moved into the boardroom and grown exponentially in worth and influence. What's particularly troubling in an era of growing deficits and cries for smaller government is that responsibilities once undertaken by the state are being outsourced, often without bidding, to private companies with no oversight or qualification beyond their campaign contributions. The Tolchins have studied Washington for years and it shows in a thoughtfully researched exploration of a radically changing game. Though the authors acknowledge the pros and cons of their subject, they are surprisingly nonpartisan and free of judgment; they're not here to condemn, but rather to call for a return to transparency, and readers will likely be fascinated and frightened in equal measure, regardless of where they fall on the political spectrum. -Publishers Weekly Readers who follow politics, government, and campaign finance reform will enjoy this book. Recommended. -Library Journal Martin and Susan Tolchin literally wrote the book on old-style political patronage, and now they have brought their shrewd, wise, and jaunty view of how politics really works to the 21st century. Patronage isn't dead. It's just gone upscale. With zest and great reporting, Pinstripe Patronage tells you how it's done, who benefits, and why it matters. -E. J. Dionne Jr., author of Why Americans Hate Politics and Souled Out Susan and Martin Tolchin-what a pair of academic and journalistic sleuths! Once again, they have produced a beautifully written, insightful, and important book on political payoffs, favoritism, and hush-hush money or jobs. And if it's always been this way, then it's about time it changed. -Marvin Kalb, Edward R. Murrow Professor Emeritus, Harvard University and former host of NBC's Meet the Press The craft of combining academic scholarship and quality journalism has always been the hallmark of the Tolchins' approach to their subjects-in this case the evolution of patronage in American politics from the 'honest graft' of Tammany in the early 20th century to Washington practices of contracting and outsourcing in the early 21st century. ... It is a joy to find meticulous research blended with such skillful (often funny) story-telling. -Stephen Hess, Senior Fellow Emeritus, The Brookings Institution Martin and Susan Tolchin have once again proven that they are keen analysts of the American political scene. These gifted writers have blended anecdotes, historical documentation, and political theory with true artistry. This brilliant book deserves wide circulation. -Naomi B. Lynn, Chancellor Emeritus, University of Illinois-Springfield. What differentiates good patronage from bad patronage? Marty and Sue Tolchin's book lays it all out for the interested voter. -Ed Koch, Former New York City mayor Susan Tolchin quoted on NPR: Transparency Sought For Fairfax County Donors Washington Post Book Review: The Persistence of Political Patronage.