SIU Department Name | Page Title

siu logo siupress logo

SIU logo


Main Content Area

Gambler King of Clark Street

Gambler King of Clark Street

Michael C. McDonald and the Rise of Chicago's Democratic Machine

Add to Cart

Richard C. Lindberg with a Foreword by John Miya.


332 pages, 6 x 9, 30 illustrations

Elmer H Johnson & Carol Holmes Johnson Series in Criminology


Additional Materials

About the Book

The Gambler King of Clark Street tells the story of a larger-than-life figure who fused Chicago’s criminal underworld with the city’s political and commercial spheres to create an urban machine built on graft, bribery, and intimidation. Lindberg vividly paints the life of the Democratic kingmaker against the wider backdrop of nineteenth-century Chicago crime and politics.

McDonald has long been cited in the published work of city historians, members of academia, and the press as the principal architect of a unified criminal enterprise that reached into the corridors of power in Chicago, Cook County, the state of Illinois, and ultimately the Oval Office. The Gambler King of Clark Street is both a major addition to Chicago’s historical literature and a revealing biography of a powerful and troubled man.

Illinois State Historical Society Scholarly Award, Certificate of Excellence, 2009
Society of Midland Authors Biography Award, 2009


Richard C. Lindberg is a journalist, a research historian, and the author or a coauthor of thirteen books, including Chicago Yesterday and Today,Shattered Sense of Innocence: The 1955 Murders of Three Chicago Children and Return to the Scene of the Crime: A Guide to Infamous Places in Chicago. He is a past president of the Society of Midland Authors and a 2008 recipient of the Morris Wexler Award, presented by the Illinois Academy of Criminology, for his contributions to the field of criminal justice writing.