City of ambition mason williams

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city of ambition mason williams

City of Ambition: FDR, LaGuardia, and the Making of Modern New York by Mason B. Williams

“Fascinating…Williams tells the story of La Guardia and Roosevelt with insight and elegance. —Edward Glaeser, New York Times Book Review

City of Ambition is a brilliant history of the New Deal and its role in the making of modern New York City. The story of a remarkable collaboration between Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia, this is a case study in creative political leadership in the midst of a devastating depression. Roosevelt and La Guardia were an odd couple: patrician president and immigrant mayor, fireside chat and tabloid cartoon, pragmatic Democrat and reform Republican. But together, as leaders of America’s two largest governments in the depths of the Great Depression, they fashioned a route to recovery for the nation and the master plan for a great city.

Roosevelt and his “Brain Trust”—shrewd, energetic advisors such as Harold Ickes and Harry Hopkins—sought to fight the Depression by channeling federal resources through America’s cities and counties. La Guardia had replaced Tammany Hall cronies with policy experts, such as the imperious Robert Moses, who were committed to a strong public sector. The two leaders worked closely together. La Guardia had a direct line of communication with FDR and his staff, often visiting Washington carrying piles of blueprints. Roosevelt relied on the mayor as his link to the nation’s cities and their needs. The combination was potent. La Guardia’s Gotham became a laboratory for New Deal reform. Roosevelt’s New Deal transformed city initiatives into major programs such as the Works Progress Administration, which changed the physical face of the United States. Together they built parks, bridges, and schools; put the unemployed to work; and strengthened the Progressive vision of government as serving the public purpose.

Today everyone knows the FDR Drive as a main route to La Guardia Airport. The intersection of steel and concrete speaks to a pair of dynamic leaders whose collaboration lifted a city and a nation. Here is their story.
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Mason B. Williams

City of Ambition: FDR, LaGuardia, and the Making of Modern New York

Cancel anytime. Two political titans forge a modern city and a vibrant public sector in this history of strong leadership at a time of national crisis. The story of a remarkable collaboration between Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia, this is a case study in creative political leadership in the midst of a devastating depression. Roosevelt and La Guardia were an odd couple: patrician president and immigrant mayor, fireside chat and tabloid cartoon, pragmatic Democrat and reform Republican. But together, as leaders of America's two largest governments in the depths of the Great Depression, they fashioned a route to recovery for the nation and the master plan for a great city. Roosevelt and his "Brain Trust" - shrewd, energetic advisors such as Harold Ickes and Harry Hopkins - sought to fight the Depression by channeling federal resources through America's cities and counties. La Guardia had replaced Tammany Hall cronies with policy experts, such as the imperious Robert Moses, who were committed to a strong public sector.

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Mason B., As a lifelong Californian, the name La Guardia meant little to me other than an airport and a bronze plaque I once saw at Brooklyn College. Williams, a professor of Leadership Studies and Political Science at Williams College, masterfully braids together the lives of the two New Yorkers—both born in and dying just two years apart in their 60s; Roosevelt, the aristocratic country squire; and La Guardia, the glad-handing, Jewish-Italian from Greenwich Village with a knack for languages.

A conversation on the unlikely collaboration of the Democratic president and the Republican mayor that helped to revitalize New York during the Depression. Two political titans forge a modern city and a vibrant public sector in this history of strong leadership at a time of national crisis. The story of a remarkable collaboration between Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia, this is a case study in creative political leadership in the midst of a devastating depression. Roosevelt and La Guardia were an odd couple: patrician president and immigrant mayor, fireside chat and tabloid cartoon, pragmatic Democrat and reform Republican. La Guardia had replaced Tammany Hall cronies with policy experts, such as the imperious Robert Moses, who were committed to a strong public sector. The two leaders worked closely together.

The story of a remarkable collaboration between Franklin Roosevelt and Fiorello La Guardia, this is a case study in creative political leadership in the midst of a devastating depression. Roosevelt and La Guardia were an odd couple: patrician president and immigrant mayor, fireside chat and tabloid cartoon, pragmatic Democrat and reform Republican. But together, as leaders of America's two largest governments in the depths of the Great Depression, they fashioned a route to recovery for the nation and the master plan for a great city. Roosevelt and his "Brain Trust"-shrewd, energetic advisors such as Harold Ickes and Harry Hopkins-sought to fight the Depression by channeling federal resources through America's cities and counties. La Guardia had replaced Tammany Hall cronies with policy experts, such as the imperious Robert Moses, who were committed to a strong public sector.

Thank you! Fiorello LaGuardia might have seemed an unlikely ally of Franklin D. Roosevelt; though born in Greenwich Village, he was from Arizona, wore a black Stetson hat to remind himself of his birthplace and was a Republican, conservative by even the standards of the era. Yet, writes debut author Williams, he was also both fiercely pragmatic and an enemy of the old political machines that conspired to keep him, as mayor of New York City, from doing his job. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.

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