Buy Used
$4.22
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Great Mayor: Fiorello La Guardia and the Making of the City of New York Hardcover – May 23, 2003


Amazon Price New from Used from
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$26.97 $0.01
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Truman Talley Books; 1st edition (May 23, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312287372
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312287375
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,474,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Brodsky has written the life of a New York City figure that ought to appeal to readers everywhere. Brodsky (Grover Cleveland) admires the half-Italian, half-Jewish congressman and mayor ("the last great paradigm of honesty and incorruptibility in American political history to date"), but he doesn't neglect La Guardia's (1882-1947) faults, which became especially apparent during his third term as mayor amid the turmoil of WWII. Brodsky has mined rich material about his subject's formative years in locales as diverse as North Dakota, the Arizona Territory and Italy (La Guardia settled in New York City, where he had been born, in 1906). Despite his disdain for social niceties, his outspokenness on political issues and his unimposing physical stature (5'2" and rotund), La Guardia reached the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican from a Tammany-dominated district in 1912, standing for open immigration, equal treatment for minorities, harsh measures against political corruption and other progressive measures. La Guardia interrupted his political career to serve in the military during WWI, flying combat missions and serving as a liaison with the Italians and other U.S. allies. A hero upon his return, he eventually served another decade in Congress. Brodsky outlines a rich, varied career that culminated with "the Little Flower" 's election as New York's mayor in 1933. Brodsky's admiration for his subject-to whom, he says, New York City owes its present greatness-remains intact, despite the mayor's increasingly authoritarian nature as he consolidated power: "many considered New York's mayor the nation's mayor." 16 pages of b&w photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

LaGuardia was mayor of New York City from 1933 to 1945, an unprecedented series of three, four-year terms--and this after serving seven terms in Congress. Brodsky begins with LaGuardia's early years, then recounts his years in Congress and in the Army Air Service during World War I, and follows his return to Congress before becoming New York's mayor. A paradigm of honesty and incorruptibility, LaGuardia was credited with breaking the grip of "boss" politics, replacing an antiquated city charter, and expanding relief and social services. He undertook a program of slum clearance, park construction, public housing, and road and bridge building "that literally recast the city physically." LaGuardia also launched what Brodsky calls "a vigorous assault on the city's racketeers and crooked politicians." The mayor's support of President Roosevelt's New Deal, Brodsky posits, was repaid by extensive federal funding for New York in the Depression-ridden 1930s. Both LaGuardia the man and the politician come alive in this absorbing biography, which will have a 16-page black-and-white photo insert. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
3
4 star
2
3 star
0
2 star
1
1 star
1
See all 7 customer reviews
And just thuddingly bad prose.
David K. Taggart
"The Great Mayor: Fiorello La Guardia and the Making of the City of New York" is a book as great as the mayor it wants us to remember.
Rocco Dormarunno
It deserves to be read - and will be read moderately quickly - by fans of the Big Apple.
K. I. Shin

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By teresa madigan on October 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I have never been to New York and confess that I don't know as much as I should about the history of that great city. I was very pleased to find that Alyn Brodsky's book was not only educational but entertaining. I admit there were some parts that probably would appeal more to scholars and historians than to an average reader, but overall the book was fascinating. Mr. Brodsky did an excellent job presenting not only the huge number of facts and figures, but also the human, personal sides of the mayor and his people.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By K. I. Shin on August 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Alyn Brodsky's "The Great Mayor" seems ambivalent about the life and career of Fiorello La Guardia. Brodsky at times leans too favorably upon the often irratic behavior of the Little Flower in the consular service, in Congress, and in City Hall. Nevertheless, his portrayal of Fiorello's decline both politically and personally is quite frank and adds dimension to this well-researched and well-documented work.

A real treat that Brodsky's book offers is a perceptive political history of the City of New York and its characters. Tammany Hall receives a drubbing, as does Robert Moses, the venerated creator of the New York parks system.

Unfortunately, the book is poorly edited and suffers from a generous sprinkling of obvious syntax errors. A truly magnificent biography would not have seen such missteps. In the end, "The Great Mayor" remains a noteworthy contribution to the body of works about New York's history. It deserves to be read - and will be read moderately quickly - by fans of the Big Apple.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Alyn Brodsky has written arguably the definitive biography on Fiorello LaGuardia. The biography is very well written, and if you are interested in New York City and municipal history, an entertaining one to boot.
LaGuardia was a progressive Republican very much in the vein of Theordore Roosevelt and Robert LaFollette. Fiorello rallied against large corporate and governmental interests, and defended the lower economic classes. He was incorruptable. LaGuardia was an energenic human dynamo, and acted in what he thought were the best interests of those he was elected to represent. This he did when he was in the House of Representatives, representing at seperate times two Manhattan Congressional districts for 14 years, and later when he was Mayor of New York for 12 years. Corruption, graft, unfair profiteering, and particularly, exploitation of recent immigrants to the U.S. were hateful things to him.
Oh yes, he was onery, exasperating, stepped on a lot of toes, and could be quite the bully. Since his desired ends were for the public good and not personal gratification or ego building, most people, excluding his enemies, saw his antics more as amusing than derisive.
In this post 9/11 period, it is fun and educational to remember and learn that Rudy Giuliani was not New York City's only great mayor. In fact, Rudy often cited "The Little Flower" as the mayor he wished most to emulate. Kudos to Alyn Brodsky for his literary effort, and bravo to Mayor LaGuardia for his super human efforts and accomplishments.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on December 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The title of Alyn Brodsky's history, "The Great Mayor: Fiorello La Guardia and the Making of the City of New York" suggests that his book will discuss two things: Mayor LaGuardia and how he shaped New York City. He delivers on both promises and then some. (Although I might argue that a more precise subtitle would be "...the Making of the Modern City of New York.")

This is a research-filled tome, but by no means dry. LaGuardia was too feisty a character to be made to look bland--and Brodsky lets LaGuardia exhibit all his unbridled emotions. But he doesn't let the reader forget the mind--the brilliance--behind the bellowings, poundings, and outrages. All of LaGuardia's ingenius (and some of his few not-so-ingenius) proposals and enactments are presented here--not just during his terms as mayor of the City of New York, but as a lawyer, congressman, and commander of America's brand new air force.

But this book is not an appeal for LaGuardia's sainthood. There was too much sulking, too much mean-spiritednes, too much selfishness to even think of such a canonization. What is testimony to Fiorello's greatness is that his greatness is still remembered to this day, in spite of the warts and all. So much for fulfilling the first promise.

In responding to the second promise, Brodsky clearly presents the City of New York before LaGuardia's career and the City after LaGuardia's career. The corruption, mismanagement, Tammany-domination of the City during the first three decades of the 20th Century are extensively rendered. And although these three things certainly did not go away after LaGuardia's leadership, they certainly were corrected to an enormous degree. And, who knows, if he had had his way, maybe they might have been eliminated all together.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Search

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?