The Great Mayor

The Great Mayor

Fiorello La Guardia and the Making of the City of New York

Book - 2003
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Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2003.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312287375
Branch Call Number: 921 LA GUARDIA, FIORELLO
Characteristics: xiii, 530 p., [16] p. of plates : ill. ; 25 cm.


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Aug 25, 2013

This is a fascinating and highly enjoyable biography of the colorful and beloved Fiorello La Guardia, New York City's greatest mayor. As someone fed up with today's political climate, I experienced great joy in reading about a truly honest politician, with a life-long passion to champion the underclass. La Guardia was a free-wheeling Air Force officer during World War I, promoting military air power. For 14 years he was a maverick, progressive Republican congressman, whose advanced ideas were carried out as part of the New Deal 10 years after he espoused them. And for 12 years he was mayor of New York City, forever changing its physical, political and cultural aspects. The 5'2" rotund La Guardia, with a high-pitched voice, was flamboyant, theatrical, pig-headed, bullying and many times wrong-headed. But he also had boundless energy, a visionary outlook and the disposition for being a superb politician and a great leader. This book gives a well-rounded look at this extraordinary man. There are clips of La Guardia on Youtube, the most famous showing him reading the Sunday comics on the radio during a New York City newspaper strike (after reading a Dick Tracy episode he comments "...children, what does it all mean? It means," he says, raising his distinctive voice "that dirty money never brings any luck."). Another famous clip shows him wielding a pickax to demolish confiscated slot machines and then throwing them into Long Island Sound. La Guardia waged a constant war against political corruption, racketeering and other forms of crime. He was a one-of-a-kind figure, which this excellent biography proves.


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