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Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics Paperback – September 28, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


Village Voice, January 20, 2011
“For those wondering why it has taken so long for the mayor's unexplained weekend absences to grab hold in the media, we direct you to Joyce Purnick's Bloomberg bio…”


“Of interest to students of Gotham politics….The author’s careful account of [Bloomberg’s term limit] victory – a worthy case study for anyone seeking ways to game a system designed to protect voters from anti-democratic dynasties – is worth the price of the book.”

Financial Times
“If all goes as expected, in November Mike Bloomberg will be elected mayor of New York City for the third time. The richest man in the city he governs, with an estimated wealth of $20bn, is again using this money to fund a lavish campaign. If he wins, he will have spent at least $250m for the privilege of holding one of the most aggravating and intoxicating jobs in US politics. But running for a third term carries an even higher price, according to Purnick’s biography. To do it, Bloomberg worked to overturn the city’s two-term limit, despite previously supporting it. “He’s a different guy than he was a year ago,” Purnick quotes a friend. “He breached his own code of ethics.” Purnick, a New York Times reporter, is mostly admiring. “Ed Koch cracked the eggs, [Rudy] Giuliani assembled the ingredients, and then Bloomberg made the omelette,” she writes of his role in New York’s resurgence.”

New York Times Book Review
“Purnick’s reporting…is detailed and delightful.”
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: PublicAffairs (September 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1586488996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1586488994
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #642,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DOPPLEGANGER on October 28, 2011
Format: Paperback
Next to The President of the United States, the Mayor of New York is, perhaps the most well known politician in the western world and even maybe beyond. Michael Bloomberg is not an outwardly egotistical, vain, free-flowing, rabble rousing orator, normally associated with being a successful politician but essentially a thorough and determined highly successful businessman, who has clearly applied lessons learned in business to his approach in running New York City. But above all his mantra seems to be that if at first you do not succeed, look for a different route.

Veteran New York newspaper reporter Joyce Purnick's biography of 'Michael Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics' lays out how this rather quiet, thoughtful individual carefully manoeuvred his 'money' into creating the 'power' base from which to launch and further his ambitions in 'politics'. She also looks at the not often displayed flamboyant side of his personality that is not so well known. In the years following his divorce he embarked on 'social reinvention' during which time he was seen on numerous occasions with beautiful and famous ladies on his arm, the likes of Barbara Walters, Liv Ullman, Marisa Berenson and Diana Ross.

Bloomberg whilst all along professing little inclination of the love and lure of politics and the hand-in-hand power base, did go out of character when he used all of his adroitness and connections to squeeze a change in the City Electoral Laws to allow him a highly controversial third term in office.

This is an easy to read, well balanced, and fascinating insight into this man of enormous influence that spans the worlds of business, politics and philanthropy from which Michael Bloomberg emerges as a decent bloke - for a billionaire and politician that is!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is an even handed, well-researched biography of New York City's one hundred and eighth mayor, Mike Bloomberg. This small town boy from Medford, Massachusetts would grow up to take the financial and business world by storm in one of the most competitive cities in the world and rise above the fray, creating a business empire that would set the standard. Having conquered the business world, this self-made billionaire would come out of political nowhere with many dollars and a dream and enter the rollicking world on New York City politics, determined to become its mayor.

Setting his sights on the highest political office in the city, this physically unprepossessing, highly intelligent man, who is short on charm, managed to pull off one of the biggest upsets in New York's political history. Luck and his own personal fortune would make his dream of becoming mayor a reality. Mike Bloomberg became mayor in the wake of 9/11, determined to make changes that would put the city back on track, applying managerial know how rather than political acumen to the task. For the most part he delivered, winning the respect of the citizens of New York City, if not their affection.

The author clearly knows and understands the world of New York politics and expertly lays it out for the reader. Against this tumultuous backdrop, the author paints a three dimensional portrait of Mayor Mike that is simultaneously both flattering and unflattering. She also tackles his unpopular but successful attack of New York's two term limit law, a success that would allow him to run for mayor a third time. The only question is whether Mayor Mike's power grab will be successful this time around.

Written in clear spare prose with no holds barred, this book is sure to be savored by those who enjoy biographies and politics. New Yorkers especially will enjoy this book for the very personal look at their mayor, warts and all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Doc Technophile on July 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very well written, amusing and enlightening. This should be on everyone's bookshelf that is interested in this aspect of American current affairs. Provided insight with wit and humor.
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Format: Paperback
This book excellently presents a biography of Michael Bloomberg, the wealthiest person in New York, who was elected Mayor by spending tens of millions of his own money to fund his campaign. As Jimmy Breslin declared, Bloomberg was buying the Mayor's seat "like it's a cup of coffee".

Bloomberg was not known for giving stirring speeches or making convincing arguments when questioned. He did not appear to have empathy for others as he maintained his businesslike aura. The author describes Bloomberg as "the city's first, and no doubt last, plutocrat."

Bloomberg understood finances and he helped steer New York during the national economic crisis. He had the advantage of not owing any interests for his election or for reelection. He could act without needing help from contractors, unions, or other economic lobbies.

Bloomerg used the money to start his own financial information company using computer terminals. It grew to a company with 2,300 journalists and editors in 140 bureaus, a 24 hour research phone line, and with 280,000 subscribes paying $1,590 a month. This phone line system would inspire Mayor Bloomberg to create 311, a number New Yorkers can call at any time to obtain government information.

Once on the public eye, criticism arose of Bloomberg's past behavior. News he faced sexual harassments charges became known. An old quote of his reemerged, where he stated "I like the theatre, dining, and chasing women. Met me put it this way: I am a single, straight billionaire in Manhattan. It's like a wet dream."

Bloomberg increased by double his charitable contributions before running for Mayor, giving $100.5 million to 200 additional organizations, 79 of which are in New York City.
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