web analytics
January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Political Bookshelf


Media-Monitor-logo

Reaction some months back to the Monitor’s Summer Reading List (June 23) was gratifying enough to warrant a list of recommended books for intelligent readers during the coming cold-weather months. The previous list concentrated on books about the Middle East; this one focuses on politics, New York and national.

There are no recent releases here because a list like this should be comprised of titles that have stood the test of time. Most of the books are out of print but can be found either at a good public library or for a reasonable price at Amazon.com.

To Be Mayor Of New York: Ethnic Politics in the City (Chris McNickle, Columbia University Press, 1993). Informative, anecdote-laden study of the crucial role of ethnic politics in New York City’s mayoral elections.

The Campaign (Evan J. Mandery, Westview Press, 1999). Memorable books on specific New York mayoral campaigns have been few and far between (William F. Buckley’s The Unmaking of a Mayor and the late Joe Flaherty’s Managing Mailer are two that come to mind), which makes this behind-the-scenes look at mayoral politics all the more welcome. Author Mandery, who worked on Ruth Messinger’s insipid 1997 campaign, combines a dry sense of humor with a careful eye for detail.

The Streets Were Paved With Gold (Ken Auletta, Random House, 1979). The definitive study of how New York’s foolish fiscal policies, fueled by the reflexive liberalism of politicians and the rapacious greed of union bosses, brought the city to the brink of bankruptcy.

The Abuse of Power: The Permanent Government and the Fall of New York (Jack Newfield and Paul Du Brul, Random House, 1977). Newfield and Paul Du Brul are both deceased, but this book survives them as a classic study of the high-level corruption and cynicism that thrived in New York during the mayoralties of John Lindsay and Abe Beame.

The Closest of Strangers: Liberalism and the Politics of Race in New York (Jim Sleeper, W.W. Norton & Company, 1989). Well-written account of how racial politics paralyzed city government in the 1970’s and 80’s. Reading it now gives one a new appreciation for Mayor Giuliani’s accomplishments in the 90’s.

The Ungovernable City (Vincent Cannato, Basic Books, 2001). Unsentimental account of how all the good intentions in the world were not enough to save John Lindsay’s New York from spiraling out of control in the late 60’s and early 70’s.

The Power Broker (Robert Caro, Knopf, 1974). Classic biography of Robert Moses, the man who literally built 20th century New York. This massive (1,246 pages in the hardcover edition) study offers an education in the nuts and bolts of municipal politics.

Safire’s New Political Dictionary (William Safire, Random House, 1993). More than 1,800 political terms defined and explained in Safire’s signature erudite style. The 1993 version is the fourth, and most recent, edition of what was originally titled “The New Language of Politics” when first published in 1968. An invaluable reference tool.

What It Takes: The Way to the White House (Richard Ben Cramer, Random House, 1992). An idiosyncratic look at the 1988 presidential campaign and by far the best book yet written about a national election.

Hell of a Ride: Backstage at the White House Follies (John Podhoretz, Simon & Schuster, 1993). Hilarious insider look at the political ineptitude of George Bush the elder. Podhoretz writes from the perspective of a young conservative who watched with incredulity as Bush spurned Ronald Reagan’s legacy and went from a 90% approval rating in mid-1991 to losing his bid for reelection a year and a half later.

Our Country: The Shaping of America from Roosevelt to Reagan (Michael Barone, Free Press, 1990). A thorough, readable political history of America from the thirties through the eighties. Barone details the country’s ideological shifts and provides incisive portraits of various national leaders.

Before the Storm: Barry Goldwater and the Unmaking of the American Consensus (Rick Perlstein, Hill & Wang, 2001). A colorful account of how the conservative icon Barry Goldwater came to capture the 1964 Republican nomination and then go down to a crushing defeat at the hands of President Lyndon Johnson – only to see his political philosophy triumph 16 years later.

About the Author: Jason Maoz is the Senior Editor of The Jewish Press.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Political Bookshelf”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Jeremy Bird, working for Israeli campaign outfit V15, shown at Ted Talk, May 20, 2014.
V15 US Political Operative Marinated in Hate-Israel Activism
Latest Indepth Stories
IRAN-US-POLITICS-MILITARY

An Israeli strike could theoretically damage Iran’s nuclear program; only US can terminate program

Israeli-flag

At some point we need to stop simply defending and promoting Israel and start living in Israel

Rabbi Berel Wein

“We Jews are the only people who when we drop a book on the floor pick it up and kiss it.”

Rabbi Sholom Klass

Though Zaide was the publisher of The Jewish Press, a big newspaper,I always remember him learning

Speaker Silver has been an extraordinary public servant since his election to the Assembly in 1975 and has been an exemplary leader of that body since 1994.

He spent the first leg of his daylong visit to the French capital at Hyper Cacher.

Drawing Congress into the Iran nuclear debate is the last thing the White House wants.

Great leaders like Miriam and like Sarah Schenirer possess the capacity to challenge the status quo that confronts them.

Obama’s foreign policy is viewed by both liberals and conservatives as deeply flawed

Many journalists are covertly blaming the Charlie Hebdo writers themselves through self-censorship.

Why does the Times relay different motivations and narratives for jihadists in Europe and Israel?

To defeat parasites-the hosts of terrorists-we need to deny them new people, potential terrorists

Combating Amalek doesn’t mean all who disagree with you is evil-rather whom to follow and to oppose

Desperate people take what they can, seizing opportunity to advance their main goal; the Arabs don’t

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Comptroller DiNapoli celebrates Sukkot with Crown Heights Jewish community leaders at the sukkah of Rabbi Chanina Sperlin of the Crown Heights Jewish Community Council.

The New York State comptroller manages the state’s $180.7 billion pension fund, audits the spending practices of all state agencies and local governments, oversees the New York State and Local Retirement System, reviews the New York State and City budgets, and approves billions in State contracts and spending.

Front-Page-102414

While not all criticism of Israel stemmed from anti-Semitism, Podhoretz contends the level of animosity towards Israel rises exponentially the farther left one moved along the spectrum.

When you grow up in a home where your parents went through what my parents went through, you realize that life has to be meaningful. You have to be there for other people.

“It’s a lousy column and a dishonest one,” Halberstam wrote. “So close it. Or you will end up just as shabby as Safire.”

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

These are not necessarily the best all-around biographies or studies of the individual presidents listed (though some rank right up there), but the strongest in terms of exploring presidential attitudes and policies toward Israel.

The Clintonan “engagement” liberals remember with such fondness did nothing but embolden Arafat and Hamas and Hizbullah as they witnessed Israel’s only real ally elevate process ahead of policy.

What really makes one wonder about the affinity felt by certain Jews for Grant was the welcome mat he put out for some of the country’s most pernicious anti-Semites.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/political-bookshelf/2006/12/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: