The Napoleon of New York: Mayor Fiorello Laguardia

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( 32 ratings by Goodreads )
9780471211037: The Napoleon of New York: Mayor Fiorello Laguardia

Praise for H. Paul Jeffers

Diamond Jim Brady: Prince of the Gilded Age

"One of the most entertaining historical business narratives in recent memory. The story of this symbol of America's Gilded Age is filled with such gusto and vigor that even hardcore business readers will be swept away."
-Publishers Weekly

"Superb historical biography of one of the more colorful characters in American history . . . spirited. . . . Jeffers deftly weaves together intriguing stage-setting explanations of the age of robber barons, the crash of 1893, and that unforgettable era of unbridled wealth for the few in 1890s New York. As this marvelous story reveals, Brady's lavish lifestyle embodies America's Gilded Age. Highly recommended for all libraries."
-Library Journal

An Honest President: The Life and Presidencies of Grover Cleveland

"A well-written and timely book that reminds us of Grover Cleveland's courage, commitment, and honesty at a time when these qualities are so lacking in so much of American politics."
-James MacGregor Burns, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award

Colonel Roosevelt: Theodore Roosevelt Goes to War, 1897--1898

"A handsome narrative of a crucial period in the career of one of our country's most colorful politicians."
-Publishers Weekly

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From the Publisher:

"... reads like an extended magazine profile. It concentrates on his personality and his public image - and in many ways this is as it should be, since his most obvious attribute as a politician was showmanship... Among other New York mayors, only Giuliani can compare with him; and though Giuliani had to face a bigger challenge last year than anything that confronted him [La Guardia], you feel sure that he would have acquitted himself equally well..."(Sunday Telegraph, 26 May 2002)

From the Inside Flap:


Fiorello La Guardia was short of stature, but big of heart. This cigar-puffing, roly-poly mayor with a squeaky voice was affectionately nicknamed "The Little Flower" and "Hizzoner" by those who adored him. Yet those who worked beside him and knew him best were witnesses to La Guardia’s other side: a driven, headstrong, personally insecure figure, about whom Robert Moses once detected "omniscience and megalomania." The Napoleon of New York provides a fresh perspective of Fiorello La Guardia’s life and mayoralty. Here, author H. Paul Jeffers takes a new spin on this beloved mayor by contrasting the public’s benevolent image of him that has lasted through seven decades with a complex, paradoxical, and cunning politician who was as tough and unforgiving as the city he governed.

No one can deny Fiorello La Guardia’s great accomplishments in invigorating New York City. As he took office on January 1, 1934, he found a city mired in the depths of the Great Depression and burdened by a corrupted government. His first words upon being sworn in were "To the victor belongs the responsibility of good government." When he retired at the end of 1945, he left a New York that was revitalized and optimistic. New Yorkers loved him for his passion, humor, flair, and honesty, and had this popular Republican mayor sought a fourth term, the predominantly Democratic city would have welcomed his announcement.

In this probing biography, H. Paul Jeffers reveals the man and the mayor who rose from an immigrant background to forge a model for good government that cares for its people whatever their race or creed. Jeffers presents the shrewd politician who knew what he wanted to do and how to go about it in a city renowned for skepticism. In contrasting the carefully cultivated, amusing personality that La Guardia showed to an adoring public and the tough administrator known to City Hall insiders, The Napoleon of New York also explores the early experiences that shaped the character of the man and the motivations that put the son of an agnostic Italian immigrant and Jewish mother from Austria on a path to the pinnacle of power in the greatest city in America.

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