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

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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: 8.8 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,445,572 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 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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9 of 12 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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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Norman Oder on November 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
While Purnick offers an interesting survey of Bloomberg's life and career, the book is disappointingly thin in its analysis.

For Purnick's verdict on development issues, consider this summary paragraph (p. 4):
"And in every rundown corner of the city he aggressively cleared the way for renovation and real estate development, to the chagrin of serious city planners and devotees of city landmarks, to the delight of builders, construction unions and pragmatists who share his preference for imperfect development over neglect."

A reader might conclude that casual city planners and those who care partially about landmarks are fine with Bloomberg's record. But Purnick sets up a false dichotomy between imperfect development and neglect, fails to look into a controversial project like Atlantic Yards (arena + towers in Brooklyn), and does not even hold Bloomberg to his own standards.

Search on my Atlantic Yards Report blog for more of the review.
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sean Sheikh on March 30, 2013
Format: Paperback
Michael Bloomberg has had a dynamic life. He has given lavishly to philanthropic causes, started a successful company, and has ran New York City as mayor for 12 years. Currently the 10th richest American, his wallet is bulging with $25 billion plus. Outside of his autobiography, this is the only biography on the man. Joyce Purnick, the writer, conducted over 400 interviews for the book, including Bloomberg's family.

Bloomberg was raised by Jewish parents who were children of immigrants. Through his mother, he learned the value of getting over things, and moving forward. It's a trait he still carries to this day. After undergrad at Johns Hopkins, he attended Harvard for his MBA. Although he received a higher offer from Goldman Sachs after school, he went to Salomon Brothers, an investment bank on Wall Street.

Working his way up, Bloomberg became partner, and was eventually let go when the firm was bought out. With $10 million in seed money, and a wealth of experience at Salomon, he founded Bloomberg LP. Since it's founding, the company has swelled from a 3 person firm to a media juggernaut. The name has become synonymous with business, and now owns a weekly magazine, news channel, and website. Although an interesting success story, Purnick zooms by this part of his life, focusing on big dates only.

From the private sector, Mike pivoted towards government. A bit bored with just making money, he felt the urge to run as Mayor of New York City. Funding his own campaign in 2001, he narrowly beat his opponent Mark Green, entering his first term as Mayor. The Mayoralty that followed has been one known to be progressive and data driven.
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