The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975

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Overview

A dramatic and colorful portrait of one of New York’s most remarkable governors, Hugh L. Carey, with emphasis on his leadership during the fiscal crisis of 1975.
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Editorial Reviews

New York Observer
"…The Man Who Saved New York … is a profile in courage, a detailed portrait of a man in his moment … the book makes a compelling case that without the governor's savvy, unswerving leadership, New York City would have gone under, and might well have taken the state and the nation down with it."
Albany Times Union
"…a riveting and timely account of Hugh Carey's pivotal role in averting the financial collapse of New York City."
Village Voice
"[New York's] future governor will appreciate this dramatic saga of what it's like to be a brand new occupant of the executive mansion who opens the cabinets to find they've been stripped bare."
City Limits Magazine
"It's an incredible story--(dramatic, filled with larger than life personalities and moments when politicians in City Hall, Albany and Washington faced the choice between expediency and responsibility and chose right. Lachman and Polner … provide an engrossing and accessible story of how the crisis unfolded, full of sudden storms, false dawns and Carey's sure voice."
Buffalo News
“…Lachman and Polner have painted a vivid picture of a colorful figure in New York history, whose actions in the face of fiscal crisis may never be more relevant.”
New York Times
“[Lachman and Polner’s] earnest biography strives to finally give Mr. Carey and the talented people he attracted to state government the credit they deserve.”
Daily Gazette
"The book chronicles a crucial time in New York's history, a time when partisan politics abated to the extent that the governor and Legislature could come together and resolve the greatest challenge facing New Yorkers."
From the Publisher
“Lachman and Polner provide a vivid portrait of the multiple obstacles faced by Governor Carey in Washington, Albany and New York City as he and his aides sought federal assistance, state remedial legislation and voluntary changes in New York City’s fiscal management, all aimed at ending the steep and deepening contraction of available credit for the city.” — Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal

“…a tribute to Governor Carey’s mastery over the city’s fiscal collapse.” — Francis X. Clines, New York Times

“…a terrific new book … Through a combination of Irish charm and steely Brooklyn smarts, Carey devised plans that saved New York.” — George J. Marlin, Long Island Business News

“[Lachman and Polner’s] earnest biography strives to finally give Mr. Carey and the talented people he attracted to state government the credit they deserve.” — New York Times

“The story of how we averted disaster is grippingly told in … The Man Who Saved New York. The authors recount how Carey’s determined and creative leadership brought New York back from the brink of civic and financial catastrophe.” — Andrew Cuomo

“…Lachman and Polner have painted a vivid picture of a colorful figure in New York history, whose actions in the face of fiscal crisis may never be more relevant.” — Buffalo News

“…The Man Who Saved New York … is a profile in courage, a detailed portrait of a man in his moment … the book makes a compelling case that without the governor’s savvy, unswerving leadership, New York City would have gone under, and might well have taken the state and the nation down with it.” — New York Observer

“…a riveting and timely account of Hugh Carey’s pivotal role in averting the financial collapse of New York City.” — Albany Times Union

“[New York’s] future governor will appreciate this dramatic saga of what it’s like to be a brand new occupant of the executive mansion who opens the cabinets to find they’ve been stripped bare.” — Village Voice

“The book chronicles a crucial time in New York’s history, a time when partisan politics abated to the extent that the governor and Legislature could come together and resolve the greatest challenge facing New Yorkers.” — Daily Gazette

“It’s an incredible story—dramatic, filled with larger than life personalities and moments when politicians in City Hall, Albany and Washington faced the choice between expediency and responsibility and chose right. Lachman and Polner … provide an engrossing and accessible story of how the crisis unfolded, full of sudden storms, false dawns and Carey’s sure voice.” — City Limits Magazine

“…[Lachman and Polner] drive home Mr. Carey’s role as the right man in the right place.” — The Chief-Leader

“This is the definitive account of New York’s fiscal crisis, of its hero Governor Hugh Carey, and of one of the most significant and absorbing episodes in the history of local and state government in this country. Plus it is timely—because New York and a handful of other states stand once more on the brink of bankruptcy.” — Peter Goldmark, formerly New York State Budget Director, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Chairman and CEO of the International Herald Tribune

“We would do well to learn from this account of New York’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s as the federal government and more than a few states enter a period of financial danger. This is vital reading and instructive history.” — Richard Ravitch, Lieutenant Governor of New York

“This stirring account of a seminal moment in American history—the New York City financial crisis—reminds us dramatically that Democrats and Republicans, business executives and union leaders can solve problems together when the common good is their priority. This is important reading for today, when our political and financial systems are in jeopardy.” — Felix Rohatyn, investment banker and former U.S. Ambassador to France

“Hugh Carey is the finest governor I have ever known—gutsy, ethical, politically skillful, and clear thinking. His story and the fiscal crisis of 1975 is brilliantly told and beautifully written by Lachman and Polner. I loved the book.” — Donna E. Shalala, President of the University of Miami and former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

“Intellectually, academically, and politically, The Man Who Saved New York couldn’t be more timely and vital for New York as the state slides toward its own rendezvous with insolvency.” — Fred Siegel, author of The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life

“The Man Who Saved New York is a fascinating inside look at the city’s fiscal crisis and Hugh Carey, a man who gets too little credit for his role in solving it. You may think you know the story, but you won’t until you have read this book.” — Kevin Baker, author of Strivers Row and Paradise Alley: A Novel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781438434537
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2010
  • Series: Excelsior Editions
  • Pages: 229
  • Sales rank: 1,405,586
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Seymour P. Lachman served as President of the New York City Board of Education and University Dean of the City University of New York before being elected to the New York State Senate, where he served five terms. He was consulting editor of The United States in the Middle East and was coauthor (with Barry A. Kosmin) of One Nation Under God: Religion in Contemporary American Society and (with Robert Polner) Three Men in a Room: The Inside Story of Power and Betrayal in an American Statehouse. He is currently Director of the Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform at Wagner College, Staten Island, where he is also a Distinguished Professor in Residence.

Robert Polner, a former award-winning reporter for Newsday, works as a public affairs officer for New York University and its Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. He was the editor of America’s Mayor, America’s President? The Strange Career of Rudy Giuliani, and coauthor (with Seymour P. Lachman) of Three Men in a Room: The Inside Story of Power and Betrayal in an American Statehouse. He also cowrote (with Paul Schwartzman) New York Notorious: A Borough-by-Borough Tour of the City’s Most Infamous Crime Scenes. His work has been published in Salon, The Guardian, Columbia Journalism Review, and The Progressive, and he has taught journalism at New York University and Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

1. The Life Stinks Club

2. “Oh, Now What Have You Done?”

3. Party Crasher

4. On Borrowed Time

5. Visible Means of Support

6. “We Confront, therefore, a Formidable Dilemma”

7. The Battle of Washington

8. Thus Passes the Glory of the World

Notes
Selected Bibliography
Index

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 21, 2010

    New York on the Brink

    Mired in debt, floored by pernicious unemployment, and swimming in mendacity, New York's state government isn't half the laughing stock it should be. Three of the top five statewide elected officials are "accidental," having been appointed after their predecessors moved on to the cabinet (Hillary Clinton), indictment (former state controller Alan Hevesi), and disgrace/CNN (Eliot Spitzer.) And don't bother looking under the rock that is the state legislature.

    In these deeply serious times, New York's leaders can seem profoundly unserious. Faced with a growing deficit, angry public service unions, and falling revenue, the state's next governor could do worse than consulting Seymour Lachman and Robert Polner's timely and entertaining book on New York's last brush with fiscal disaster.

    "The Man Who Saved New York" will resonate with readers because it shows a moment, however fleeting, when the Empire State's legion of vested interests did the right thing, acting with resolve and with the entire state's welfare in mind. Republicans and Democrats, union leaders and bankers, Washington and Albany -- they all worked in relative concert and kept their hands off each other's throats.
    Conducting this intricate symphony was Governor Hugh Carey, who summoned a lifetime's worth of public service experience and personal relationships to ensure Gotham survived the great fiscal crisis of 1975.

    Carey sat for hours of interviews with the authors, and they are no strangers to New York's back rooms and political back roads. In addition to writing for the Guardian and The Huffington Post, Polner has been a political reporter at all three of New York City's tabloids, most notably at Newsday. Lachman, a professor at NYU's Wagner School, is a former member of the New York state senate. They know what they're talking about and they know how to tell the tale. "The Man Who Saved New York" should be bedside reading for the movers and shakers of all 50 states.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 8, 2012

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