Long’s Extended Look at Madigan Era Goes to Paperback

By Benjamin Cox on April 1, 2024 at 9:45am

An in-depth book about the longest-serving State Speaker of the House in U.S. History hit paperback on March 26th.

Winchester-area native and two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist Ray Long’s in-depth work The House That Madigan Built moves to paperback after a successful two-year run in hard back for the University of Illinois Press. The book is a lengthy view of former Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan’s 36 years as House Speaker, and 38-year leadership of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

Long’s career of covering the Capitol in Springfield coincided with Madigan’s rise to power.

Long says it was important to have the full picture of Madigan’s time in Springfield from beginning to end: “I feel pretty good about the book going to paperback. I thought that it was an important book to write because a lot of people have not followed Madigan closely but they have kind of a gut reaction about him, most often times its negative, especially in recent years. The book lays it out, I believe, on the things that he did that either drew a lot of praise or scrutiny. There were things that he did that got him in trouble. He used the power of politics to push his agenda and pushed his personal political power. The book largely covers the time that he was a legislative leader, which happened to be in 1981 and that also happened to be the first year that I covered Springfield.”

Long says he watched all of the highs and lows of Madigan’s career and tried to portray it objectively and let people make their own conclusions.

Long says if you’re interested in the book and need a little help with the purchase, he has a special code for you to enter at checkout on the University of Illinois Press’ website: “When you get to the University of Illinois’ Press’ website, type in ‘The House That Madigan Built’ or my name and the book should pop up. The discount code for 30% off is ‘S24UIP.’ Type that in and you’ll get a discount when you order.”

Long has not mentioned if there will be a second edition of the book after Madigan’s upcoming federal racketeering trial. He continues to cover all things surrounding Madigan and his associates at the Chicago Tribune.