web analytics
April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth » Monitor »

Political Bookshelf


Media-Monitor-logo

Share Button

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.

Share Button

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.

No Responses to “Political Bookshelf”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Jason Maoz
Bob Grant

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.

Camelot-112213

With 2013 marking half a century since Kennedy’s fateful limousine ride in Dallas, the current revels are exceeding the revisionist frenzies of years past, with a seemingly endless parade of books, articles and television specials designed to assure us that, despite everything that has come to light about him since his death, JFK was a great president, or at least a very good president who would have been great had his life not been so cruelly cut short.

As someone who for the past fifteen years has been writing a column that largely focuses on the news media, I’ve read what is no doubt an altogether unhealthy number of books on the subject. Most of them were instantly forgettable while some created a brief buzz but failed to pass the test of time. And then there were those select few that merited a permanent spot on the bookshelf.

George W. Bush has been getting some positive media coverage lately, with recent polls showing him at least as popular as his successor, Barack Obama, and a big new book about the Bush presidency by New York Times chief White House correspondent Peter Baker (Days of Fire, Doubleday) portraying Bush as a much more hands-on chief executive than his detractors ever imagined.

Readers who’ve stuck with the Monitor over the years will forgive this rerun of sorts, but as we approach the fortieth anniversary of the Yom Kippur War – and with the stench of presidential indecisiveness hanging so heavily over Washington these days – it seemed only appropriate to revisit Richard Nixon’s role in enabling Israel to recover from the staggering setbacks it suffered in the first week of fighting.

Shakespeare had it right. The evil that men do indeed lives after them. Case in point: Nahum Goldmann, who served in a variety of Jewish and Zionist organizational leadership posts from the 1920s through the 1970s.

Oscar “Ossie” Schectman, who scored the first basket in the history of the league that evolved into the National Basketball Association, died last week at age 94.

It’s certainly been a while, hasn’t it? And yet it seems like the conversation was never really interrupted, as I’ve enjoyed, in the three and a half months since this column last appeared, many an interesting exchange, via e-mail and phone, with some very intelligent readers.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

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

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: