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The American Mayor: The Best and the Worst Big-City Leaders Paperback – March 19, 1999
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
“An intelligent, inquisitive public will find The American Mayor to be worthwhile and interesting reading. Holli asks his own questions about the nature of leadership, providing interpretations which are original and significant. This is a remarkable book which should be required reading for all students of urban history, public policy, or political science.”
—Michael P. Weber, Duquesne University
Top Customer Reviews
I found myself in agreement with some of the ratings, and in disagreement with others.
I can not understand the law rating of Ed Koch, who turned New York around.
I also disagree with his low ratings of some depression era Mayors shows a bias against the old style ethnic politicians like James Michael Curley of Boston, rated as one of the worst. Most Bostonians rate him as the best. He championed the poor Irish immigrants, and opened the doors of city hall to them. Curley was a populist, and the review shows a bias against populist Mayors.
Frank Hague, (Boss Hague) of Jersey City, is rated as the second worst Mayor in history. He was certainly not a good Mayor. However, the voters of Jersey City would beg to differ that he was near the bottom. They elected him for a stunning 30 years, a record no modern day Mayor can hope to match. Hague enjoyed, as the book states, long vacations on the Jersey Shore and no one can find out how they were paid for. He may have been corrupt.
But, if we was corrupt, so, sadly, were many others of that period, so that fact alone cannot make him the second worst in history.
But what kept Hague re-elected for thirty years was his championing of a hospital for the poor.Read more ›
"There is little debate," wrote Cleveland Magazine in May 1996, "over the value of Muny Light today. Now Cleveland Public Power, it is a proven asset to the city that between 1985 and 1995 saved its customers $195,148,520 over what they would have paid CEI." Kucinich's move also preserved hundreds of union jobs. In 1998, city council granted Kucinich amnesty, stating that he had "the courage and foresight to refuse to sell the city's municipal electric system."