Fiorello H. La Guardia and the Making of Modern New York

Fiorello H. La Guardia and the Making of Modern New York In this sparkling and definitive new biography we are reminded of a time when a this, short man with a careening falsetto and a huge Stetson patrolled the streets of New York This was a man who became a legend, a man who cooled riots, fed the hungry, hectored the gamblers, read comic strips over the radio to children, and single handedly transformed a huge, drifting metropolis into a city with a heart and an imagination Wrestling with the deadlocking forces of his tome, Fiorello La Guardia infused his city with integrity, amused it with his humor, and served it with his heart and soulWhen la Guardia took office as mayor of New York City inhundreds of thousands of people were unemployed and many feared that revolution was imminent Sorely needed improvements were being ignored and the slums were festering communities of he bitter and homeless lived in cardboard shanties and relief was limited to those with political connections Just a year before, New York s stylish, good time mayor, Jimmy Walker, had been forced from office after a series of revelations disclosed a municipal government that was even rotten than it was ineffectiveAs a congressman, La Guardia had made spirited war on the racists, the self righteous supporters of prohibition, and the fawning worshippers of business But it was as mayor of New York that he stamped the history of his times and the nation that he so loved La Guardia shaped a government that sought not only to meet the immediate crisis, but to plan a city with a future Propelled by a furious energy, he battled corruption and fought fires he built bridges, tunnels, schools, parks, airports, and public housing And, throughout his tenure, he attracted to the municipal service some of the best men and women of his timeLa Guardia worked closely with Franklin Roosevelt to craft a federal urban policy that brought billions to his city and to others around the country His example for the modern mayoralty set the standard for city governments A man whose enthusiasms were never on a small scale, La Guardia chaired the Joint American Canadian Permanent Defense Board, directed the Office of Civilian Defense, lobbied for a generalship, pursued the presidency, and presided over the National Conference of Mayors all while serving as mayor of New YorkBased on private papers only recently made available, on newly released FBI documents, and on extensive research among the official papers and documents of the City of New York, this compelling biography chronicles the making of the modern metropolis through the life of one of its most complex, endlessly interesting, fiercely ambitious, and intemperate immigrant sons

10 thoughts on “Fiorello H. La Guardia and the Making of Modern New York

  1. says:

    This is a thorough and unbiased examination of the life of the truly legendary LaGuardia It is a rags to riches story oraptly rags to power as LaGuardia never became wealthy His only corruption was his zest and drive for power He was probably the first non Anglo Saxon to rise prominently in politics in the U.S.The book also demonstrates the foresight of Rooseve

  2. says:

    Fiorello La Guardia was like no man in modern politics He was a pugilistic, determined, pint sized, patriotic, ultra liberal who became widely regarded as the greatest city mayor in American history and one of the defining political characters of the Great Depression In some ways, this hyperkinetic Republican born in New York, who became an emotional son of the

  3. says:

    For a large book, it s surprisingly light on the details I was hoping for Filled with a little too much purple prose and contextualization Everyone should read a biography of one of the most fascinating and unique politicians in US history I think F.H is due for a modern biography withof a focus on his left wing bully pulpit and his work on pro labor causes.

  4. says:

    There is definitely some slogging to do in this book, but most of it is fascinating Fiorello La Guardia was an amazing and entertaining character, and I came away feeling like I understoodabout New York and the US during the times he was around.

  5. says:

    Learned much about New York and the life of La Guardia I did not know much about him but admire what he did for New York and its citizens.

  6. says:

    Kessner was the director of the LaGuardia archives and is therefore very knowledgable The book is thorough, maybe too thorough for the average reader Lots of details Useful for a scholar

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