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"A sweeping history of Baltimore written by a true master of this subject. A political scientist by training with considerable skill as a writer and historian, Crenson is also a long-time observer and commentator on the Baltimore scene. In addition to its academic virtues, this gripping book would make a wonderful gift for readers in Baltimore or with a Baltimore attachment."

"This is a magnificent study, sweeping in scope and rich in detail... There is much to learn from the Baltimore experience, and this gracefully written volume tells the tale well. Highly recommended."

"Matthew A. Crenson takes readers on an exhilarating ride through more than two centuries of American history. With lucid prose, rapid pacing, and a parade of dramatic incidents, he addresses the critical issues that have confounded citizens and historians since the nation's founding."

"A comprehensive look at the manifold forces that influenced and impeded city government for more than 300 years. Crenson also possesses a keen eye—and nose—for the two-way traffic between politics and the body politic. He scrapes away charm (and myth) to expose less savory features of civic history."