Jim Pendergast has the same beer-barrel silhouette as his Uncle Tom had. But whereas Uncle Tom had cast a dark, corrupt shadow over the whole state of Missouri, Jim's shadow, even in the full glow of Harry Truman's friendship, hardly reached beyond the Jackson County line. After Uncle Tom went to prison, Jim did the best he could to keep old Tom's Kansas City machine running. His best wasn't bad enough. The Citizens' Association Reform government won control of city hall. A lot of old Pendergast lieutenants joined up with mobster Charlie Binaggio.

Things began to look up for Jim...

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