Once described by the Washington Post as “the most interesting mayor you’ve never heard of,” Pete Buttigieg, the thirty-seven-year-old mayor of South Bend, Indiana, has now emerged as one of the nation’s most visionary politicians. With soaring prose that celebrates a resurgent American Midwest, Shortest Way Home narrates the heroic transformation of a “dying city” (Newsweek) into nothing less than a shining model of urban reinvention.
Interweaving two narratives—that of a young man coming of age and a town regaining its economic vitality—Buttigieg recounts growing up in a Rust Belt city, amid decayed factory buildings and the steady soundtrack of rumbling freight trains passing through on their long journey to Chicagoland. Inspired by John F. Kennedy’s legacy, Buttigieg first left northern Indiana for red-bricked Harvard and then studied at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, before joining McKinsey, where he trained as a consultant—becoming, of all things, an expert in grocery pricing. Then, Buttigieg defied the expectations that came with his pedigree, choosing to return home to Indiana and responding to the ultimate challenge of how to revive a once-great industrial city and help steer its future in the twenty-first century.
Elected at twenty-nine as the nation’s youngest mayor, Pete Buttigieg immediately recognized that “great cities, and even great nations, are built through attention to the everyday.” As Shortest Way Home recalls, the challenges were daunting—whether confronting gun violence, renaming a street in honor of Martin Luther King Jr., or attracting tech companies to a city that had appealed more to junk bond scavengers than serious investors. None of this is underscored more than Buttigieg’s audacious campaign to reclaim 1,000 houses, many of them abandoned, in 1,000 days and then, even as a sitting mayor, deploying to serve in Afghanistan as a Navy officer. Yet the most personal challenge still awaited Buttigieg, who came out in a South Bend Tribune editorial, just before being reelected with 78 percent of the vote, and then finding Chasten Glezman, a middle-school teacher, who would become his partner for life.
While Washington reels with scandal, Shortest Way Home, with its graceful, often humorous, language, challenges our perception of the typical American politician. In chronicling two once-unthinkable stories—that of an Afghanistan veteran who came out and found love and acceptance, all while in office, and that of a revitalized Rust Belt city no longer regarded as “flyover country”—Buttigieg provides a new vision for America’s shortest way home.
Peter Schweizer has been fighting corruption—and winning—for years. In Throw Them All Out, he exposed insider trading by members of Congress, leading to the passage of the STOCK Act. In Extortion, he uncovered how politicians use mafia-like tactics to enrich themselves. And in Clinton Cash, he revealed the Clintons’ massive money machine and sparked an FBI investigation.
Now he explains how a new corruption has taken hold, involving larger sums of money than ever before. Stuffing tens of thousands of dollars into a freezer has morphed into multibillion-dollar equity deals done in the dark corners of the world.
An American bank opening in China would be prohibited by US law from hiring a slew of family members of top Chinese politicians. However, a Chinese bank opening in America can hire anyone it wants. It can even invite the friends and families of American politicians to invest in can’t-lose deals.
President Donald Trump’s children have made front pages across the world for their dicey transactions. However, the media has barely looked into questionable deals made by those close to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Mitch McConnell, and lesser-known politicians who have been in the game longer.
In many parts of the world, the children of powerful political figures go into business and profit handsomely, not necessarily because they are good at it, but because people want to curry favor with their influential parents. This is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States. But for relatives of some prominent political families, we may already be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.
Deeply researched and packed with shocking revelations, Secret Empires identifies public servants who cannot be trusted and provides a path toward a more accountable government.
In The Metropolitan Airport, Nicholas Dagen Bloom chronicles the untold story of JFK International's complicated and turbulent relationship with the New York City metropolitan region. In spite of its reputation for snarled traffic, epic delays, endless construction, and abrasive employees, the airport was a key player in shifting patterns of labor, transportation, and residence; the airport both encouraged and benefited from the dispersion of population and economic activity to the outer boroughs and suburbs. As Bloom shows, airports like JFK are vibrant parts of their cities and powerfully influence urban development. The Metropolitan Airport is an indispensable book for those who wish to understand the revolutionary impact of airports on the modern American city.