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A Mayor's Life: Governing New York's Gorgeous Mosaic Hardcover – September 17, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 408 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (September 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1610393015
  • ISBN-13: 978-1610393010
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #161,922 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

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

Review

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.”

Booklist
“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.”

Kirkus Reviews
"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."

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Customer Reviews

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It's written in an easy to read way and won't take long to get through.
Vikash Reddy
A truly remarkable life and story, A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic by David N. Dinkins with Peter Knobler is quite a tale.
Dr. Wilson Trivino
And his book painstakingly documents evidence in support of this claim.
Douglas Henderson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Henderson on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Review of David Dinkins’ Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic.
By Douglas Henderson Jr.
Arthur Ashe was a close friend and mentor. Through innumerable conversations with him over 18 years, I got to know him intimately: his thoughts, his proclivities, his likes and dislikes. I sought his advice when deciding which college to attend. A few days later, I received a college recommendation from him. Upon graduating, I questioned him about career direction. Within the week, I received a glowing job recommendation. Arthur was an introverted public figure—ever conscious of his public image—who shielded his private life. As our friendship grew, those barriers fell to reveal a very human being. One even greater than his public persona. Few knew this Arthur.
David Dinkins is a close friend and mentor. We’ve had immeasurable conversations and contacts since our initial introduction, at the 1978 US Open. During the summers of my college years, I worked on jobs he got for me. After college, he took a hands-on approach to my professional career. When applying for law school, I sought his counsel and received a glowing recommendation. Despite all this, I knew so very little about him: his childhood, what molded his genteel personality, what drove him, his philosophy on raising his children, etc. Mayor Dinkins is an extroverted public figure whose extrinsic personality erects a façade that hides a remarkable life that I knew very little about—that is, until I read his just-published autobiography, A Mayor’s Life: Governing New York’s Gorgeous Mosaic.
As, seemingly, opposite as Ashe and Dinkins may first appear, they are very much alike. Both were impacted by Jim Crow at early ages. Ashe was born in Virginia; Dinkins joined the Marines and went through boot camp in the Deep South.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vikash Reddy on December 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book offers a candid view of Mayor Dinkins' life and mayoralty. Whether you're a Dinkins fan or not, the book is worth reading. It's written in an easy to read way and won't take long to get through.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Leon L Czikowsky on October 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This is an autobiography of David Dinkins, one of the most important political figures in modern New York political history, This is a fascinating and insightful look both into his life but especially his career where he not only was a leading participant in many critical political events, he eventually became the leading figure. This book should be of interest to readers wishing to learn more about New York history and politics,

The following are notes from the book for Political Science students:

David Dinkins joined the Marines and went to college on the G.I. Bill.

Dinkins became a lawyer. To make himself known, in order to get clients, he joined the George Washington Carver Democratic Club which was influential in Harlem.

Dinklins believed the political "reformers then were part of a power group led by whites who worked against established Black leaders. He does believe that reform leader Percy Sutton became an effective leader. He also saw the rise of reform leader Charles Rangle and believes he too was a good leader.

One of the important jobs of political organizations is to get enough qualified signatures on petitions to get candidates listed on primary ballots. Dinkins mentions "stories" of candidates' petitions `accidentally' destroyed by political operatives.

In 1966, the courts allowed the State Assembly to expand from 150 to 165 Assembly seats for one election. This was in response to Assembly leadership attempting to comply with previous court orders. This was done even though the state Constitution sets the numbers of Assembly members at 150.

Raymond Jones asked Dinkins to run for a newly created State Assembly seat. He ran against Frank Leichter, a candidate supported by notable liberal U.S. Rep.
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