National Affairs: The Boys in the Back Room

As poor boys hawking papers on the streets of south Baltimore, Tommy D'Alesandro and Jack Pollack were friendly rivals. When they went into politics they stayed rivals. Tommy became Baltimore's mayor and Democratic national committeeman from Maryland. Pollack, a prosperous insurance broker, became Democratic boss of Baltimore's fourth state legislative district, and proved in election after election that he could swing 25,000 votes for any candidate he named to his faithful followers.

Shipped as a delegate to Chicago, Pollack was sore at the Democratic organization and at Tommy D'Alesandro—so sore that he announced...

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