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A Fascinating Descent into Madness,
This review is from: Sayings of Generalissimo Giuliani (Paperback)
As a transplanted New Yorker who arrived just prior to Rudy Giulianni's second re-election (which just happened to coincide with a week-long gang epidemic that quickly disappeared after he was elected), I have watched my adopted city fall into the grips of a freedom crippling fascist and have wondered how on earth Guilianni was ever given power. Surely, I thought, the fair residents of this great city are not all so overwhelmingly stupid to have honestly believed that such a dangerous man would be the savior of our city.
Reading this powerful little book has answered my questions. The book itself is simply quotes attributed to Guilianni, with the occasional reporting of facts surrounding an issue or event. Taken as parts they can be seen as an instructive look at how one can use spin control and bombastic indignation to cover up almost anything, but when the piece is assembled as a whole, an inadvertent narrative begins to emerge.
These excerpts from Guilianni's full political career, stretching from the late 60's to the late 90's, provides an overwhelmingly fascinating narrative of a mild mannered liberal who becomes a mild mannered -- if passive aggressive and ethically sketchy -- conservative who slowly (from about 1995 to 1999) becomes a power hungry, openly vindictive, petty, horrible man. As the pages turn and the reader is greeted with quotes that provide point and counterpoint on issue after issue, one finds oneself constructing the timeline of Guilianni's own personal descent into madness; we are all able to watch as this man becomes crazier and crazier with every passing year.
In the end, there are two narratives here. One is that of a city that is held prisoner by the tyrannical oppression of one of the century's most dangers threats to personal freedom. The other is that of a flawed man, a man who had strong, workable ideas for how to turn a rough city into a utopia, and in the process somehow lost his soul entirely.