New history of Cranston Mayors by Steven Frias
Steve Frias new book, `Cranston and its Mayors’ is an interesting look at Cranston politics from the community’s founding in 1638 to the present. While colonial history is a well-trod path in Rhode Island and New England, Frias does the smart thing here and gives only a synopsis of the Revolutionary Era. He concentrates his study on a much neglected era in both Cranston and Rhode Island history – the 20th Century.
Frias is a fine writer and a Republican Party activist. He provides insight into the challenges and political landscape that every Cranston mayor has faced from Mayor Edward Sullivan, who served from 1910 to 1914, to the current mayor, Republican Alan Fung.
The 156-page book can be purchased at Barnes and Noble and at the Twice Told Tales bookstore in Cranston. And you can get it at Amazon.com. Frias has a book signing tentatively scheduled for Nov. 21 at the Cranston Public Library.
Cranston has a florid political history and Frias takes on some of the controversial figures who reigned over City Hall, including Edward DiPrete, who would become governor and whose State House corruption would earn him a year prison sentence at the ACI, and the mercurial Steve Laffey, who won plaudits for taking on organized labor an shaking up City Hall but was swamped when he took on then-U.S. Sen. Lincoln Chafee in the 2006 U.S. Senate primary.