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I give this book a 5 Star. I think the author wrote about not just NYC politics, but all politics. It seems that some folks prefer to belittle others, like the prior writer with his post-modern, neo-conservative written review (whether, philosophically, he knows who he is or not). I read this book in 1980 when it first came out, and what the author says is True to all politics, even today.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
New York seems larger than life, and histories of New York can be exciting and important. Not this one, though. Ken Auletta spreads a three-paragraph editorial's worth of insight over 330 pages, attempting to analyze the New York City financial crisis of the late 1970s. He should have started with a history of the crisis, but he doesn't. He should have interviewed major players, but he doesn't. He should have put the problem in the context of broader challenges in municipal and sovereign finance in the late 1970s, but he doesn't. Instead, we get rambling repetitive ruminations over why New York City politicians borrowed so much money, and why nobody tried to stop them. The answer, Auletta concludes, was "politics." It's sophomoric.

Auletta did get an interview with Daniel Patrick Moynihan to discuss the City's financial problems, but his description of their conversation makes clear that he was bored by Moynihan and did not take him seriously.

There was one interesting revelation in the book, something that perhaps people knew at the time but which was news to me -- when the city's problems started becoming clear to the large banks that intermediated its bond sales, they responded by selling their own bond holdings to their customers, much as some banks responded during the recent MBS crisis.

I do not recommend this book.
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