America's Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York

Overview

"In a stunning repudiation of the Democratic machine, John V.Lindsay (1921-2000) captured the New York mayoralty in 1965 by promising to rid the city of apathy and corruption and make New York governable again. Over the next eight years, Lindsay presided over a city at the vortex of the civil rights, antiwar, women's, and gay rights movements, a turbulent global economy, demographic upheaval defined by an influx of blacks and Puerto Ricans and an exodus of whites, and volatile local labor politics fur-ther fractured by race. He would ...

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Overview

"In a stunning repudiation of the Democratic machine, John V.Lindsay (1921-2000) captured the New York mayoralty in 1965 by promising to rid the city of apathy and corruption and make New York governable again. Over the next eight years, Lindsay presided over a city at the vortex of the civil rights, antiwar, women's, and gay rights movements, a turbulent global economy, demographic upheaval defined by an influx of blacks and Puerto Ricans and an exodus of whites, and volatile local labor politics fur-ther fractured by race. He would revolutionize urban planning, hoping to make New York not just inhabitable but enjoyable-a celebration of itself-and he would attempt to overhaul the government's services and priorities." "Some reforms succeeded. Others failed. While few have evaluated Lindsay's controversial legacy with the benefit of hindsight and within the context of national cultural upheaval, this book does just that. Edited by New York Times-urban-affairs correspondent Sam Roberts and published in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York, America's Mayor is lavishly illustrated and features original essays by Hilary Ballon, Joshua Freeman, Jeff Greenfield, Pete Hamill, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Kenneth T. Jackson, John Mollenkopf, Charles Morris, Nicholas Pileggi, Richard Reeves, James Sanders, and Steven Weisman. Key contemporaries such as Jimmy Breslin, Mario Cuomo, and Juan Gonzalez offer personal reminiscences enhanced by compelling documents and articles." "With his undeniable charisma and bold support for cities and urban living, Lindsay galvanized the attention of a nation at a time of looming crisis. This collection vividly reexamines the truth behind Lindsay's reputation as a failed dreamer and the forces that transformed him into America's mayor." "This book is about Lindsay's dream to reinvent New York. Fully a half century since Lindsay was elected to public office, the aftershocks of his record still reverberate as a government grappling with the consequences of immigration, income inequality, a healthcare crisis, and environmental adversity confronts the legacy of the 1960s." A generation before Rudy Giuliani usurped the title, John V. Lindsay was America's Mayor. While he came to personify the decade's explosive problems, he also exemplified bold potential solutions that were advanced as a national urban agenda, one that resonates today as states and municipalities struggle to avoid bankruptcy."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231152600
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 5/17/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sam Roberts is the urban affairs correspondent of The New York Times and has written for the newspaper for more than two decades. Before joining The Times, Roberts was a reporter and city editor at the Daily News. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, the New Republic, and New York Magazine, and he is the author and coauthor of several books. He lives in New York City.

Columbia University Press

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Table of Contents

Foreword Susan Henshaw Jones Jones, Susan Henshaw 1

Editor's Acknowledgments 3

Introduction Sam Roberts Roberts, Sam 4

City in Crisis I Sam Roberts Roberts, Sam 10

Also: Excerpts from the "City in Crisis" series 14

"John Lindsay Begins" 19

"Mayor Wagner's Gift" 22

The Making of the Mayor Richard Reeves Reeves, Richard 26

Also: "Lindsay for Mayor"1965 Campaign ads 30

"First Inaugural Address" 39

Black and White Charlayne Hunter-Gault Hunter-Gault, Charlayne 42

Also: Excerpts from "The Kerner Commission Report" 51

Reflections by Robert Curvin 53

Juan Gonzalez and Fred Harris 56

Power to the Rest of the People Pete Hamill Hamill, Pete 58

Also: Reflections David N. Dinkins Dinkins, David N. 66

Crime and Punishment Nicholas Pileggi Pileggi, Nicholas 72

Also: Reflection David Burnham Burnham, David 82

Adventure Playground James Sanders Sanders, James 84

Also: Reflections Harold Prince Prince, Harold 97

Excerpts from "Such an Amusing City" 99

The Polities of Change John Mollenkopf Mollenkopf, John 102

Also: Excerpts from "The Revolt of the White Lower Middle Class" 110

Charts of New York City Expense Budget 114

Reflection Mario Cuomo Cuomo, Mario 117

Lindsay and Labor Joshua B. Freeman Freeman, Joshua B. 118

Also: "Labor Leaders on Lindsay" 130

The Physical City Hilary Ballon Ballon, Hilary 132

Also: Excerpt from The Power Broker Robert A. Caro Caro, Robert A. 137

Excerpt from Plan for New York City 145

"Adding up the Score" Ada Louise Huxtable Huxtable, Ada Louise 148

The Second Toughest Job Jeff Greenfield Greenfield, Jeff 150

Also: Excerpts from Nixon White House Tapes 156

"Re-Elect Mayor Lindsay" 1969 campaigns ads 160

Second Inaugural Address 161

Reflection Jimmy Breslin Breslin, Jimmy 163

Letter from David Halberstam 166

"John Lindsay for President"1972 ad Campaigns 169

"Remember Lindsay?" 169

New York's Great Society Charles R. Morris Morris, Charles R. 170

Also: Excerpt from "A Strategy to End Poverty" Frances Fox Piven Piven, Frances Fox 176

Reflections Jay L. Kriegel Kriegel, Jay L. 190

City in Crisis II Steven Weisman Weisman, Steven 192

Also: Charts on New York City Labor Costs and Employment Changes 204

The Mayoral Matchup Kenneth T. Jackson Jackson, Kenneth T. 214

Also: Reflections Major Owens Owens, Major 217

Reflections Peter C. Goldmark Jr. Goldmark, Peter C., Jr. 220

"A Mayor of Vision" 228

Excerpts from "He Refreshed 'Fun City' with Heart and Mind" 232

The Solid Estimate of Lindsay John V. Lindsay Lindsay, John V. 232

The Legacy Sam Roberts Roberts, Sam 234

Photo Credits 242

Index 244

About the Museum of the City of New York 248

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