In the 1980s, with black mayors in major cities from Chicago to Cleveland to Gary, and Jesse Jackson making a historic bid for the presidency, local Democratic Party leaders considered another historic possibility, a black mayor of New York. With a long career in politics, including time as Manhattan borough president, Dinkins, despite a courtliness atypical of the rough-and-tumble of New York politics, seemed a logical candidate. His father, an African American pioneer in New York politics, influenced Dinkins to get a law degree and go into public service. In 1990, he replaced the irascible Ed Koch at a time of high crime, racial conflict, and financial crisis. Dinkins recalls his career as a moderate in a town of more flamboyant political figures, including Charlie Rangel, Percy Sutton, Shirley Chisholm, Abe Beame, Mario Cuomo, and Rudy Giuliani. Dinkins trumpets his accomplishments as mayor and offers some insights into the boisterous New York political scene, the rise of Harlem’s political influence, and the evolution of black political leaders during a turbulent period. --Vanessa Bush
Sam Roberts, New York Times Book Review
An inspiring account of New York’s first black mayor and the hopes he inherited, many of them dashed on the shoals of fiscal reality and a sometimes hapless search for consensus.”
Dinkins trumpets his accomplishments as mayor and offers some insights into the boisterous New York political scene, the rise of Harlem’s political influence, and the evolution of black political leaders during a turbulent period.”
"A former New York City mayor recounts his personal journey from humble roots to running America’s most iconic metropolis
A frank, unique look at the many challenges in New York City politics."