Pataki: An Autobiography

Overview

George E. Pataki is the real McCoy. He's a small-town boy from Peekskill, New York, thirty-five miles up the Hudson River from New York City. There are wonderful characters from the Peekskill days - the headstrong Grandpa Pataki, determined to raise the best vegetables on the hardscrabble farm his own way; the governor's father, a mailman and devoted volunteer fireman; and cousins galore available for expeditions, games, and general mischief when the day's work was done. In 1994 Pataki stunned the political world...
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1st Edition, Fine/Fine Clean, bright & tight. No ink names, tears, chips, foxing etc. Price unclipped. SIGNED, INSCRIBED & dated by Pataki on Title Page. ISBN 067087339X

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Overview

George E. Pataki is the real McCoy. He's a small-town boy from Peekskill, New York, thirty-five miles up the Hudson River from New York City. There are wonderful characters from the Peekskill days - the headstrong Grandpa Pataki, determined to raise the best vegetables on the hardscrabble farm his own way; the governor's father, a mailman and devoted volunteer fireman; and cousins galore available for expeditions, games, and general mischief when the day's work was done. In 1994 Pataki stunned the political world by defeating Mario Cuomo in the gubernatorial election. He tells the inside story of this incredible upset victory, and talks about what it takes to run the diverse state of New York.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The most engaging part of this lackluster autobiography by the Republican governor of New York, assisted by freelance writer Paisner, deals with Pataki's childhood in Peekskill, N.Y. The son of a mail carrier, he lived with his brother and his parents on a farm owned by his grandfather, who sold produce at a farm stand. The governor credits his grandfather, a Hungarian immigrant, with teaching him the importance of hard work and honesty. He describes the joys of rural life and remembers with obvious pleasure such family gatherings as the yearly bacon barbecue. Interwoven with these reminiscences is a self-promoting narrative of Pataki's career as mayor of Peekskill and as state assemblyman, and details of the 1994 gubernatorial election, when he defeated Democratic incumbent Mario Cuomo. Pataki believes voters favored his conservative stance on crime and welfare, which he restates here as well as sharply attacking Cuomo's liberalism. He also discusses the infamous 1949 Peekskill riots (which occurred when singer Paul Robeson, a leftist black political activist, arrived to give a concert) and his father's participation in the protest against Robeson's appearance.
Library Journal
Pataki was virtually unknown outside of his New York senatorial district when he ran for governor and defeated Mario Cuomo in 1994. His book describes how growing up in a gritty Hudson River town supported by a close-knit extended family in the 1950s and 1960s gave him a deeply rooted set of values. The stories about his Hungarian, Irish, and Italian grandparents are fascinating and touching, but the narrative is often interrupted by philosophical rhetoric, detracting from the otherwise gentle nature of the historical account. Nevertheless, the book shows the remarkable path Pataki followed from his subsistence-farming background to Yale and Columbia educations and a calling to politics, which eventually led to his becoming governor of New York. Along the way, he notes, he followed his instincts guided by his deeply instilled values. Recommended for libraries in New York State with strong political science or local government collections.

--Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libraries

Library Journal
Pataki was virtually unknown outside of his New York senatorial district when he ran for governor and defeated Mario Cuomo in 1994. His book describes how growing up in a gritty Hudson River town supported by a close-knit extended family in the 1950s and 1960s gave him a deeply rooted set of values. The stories about his Hungarian, Irish, and Italian grandparents are fascinating and touching, but the narrative is often interrupted by philosophical rhetoric, detracting from the otherwise gentle nature of the historical account. Nevertheless, the book shows the remarkable path Pataki followed from his subsistence-farming background to Yale and Columbia educations and a calling to politics, which eventually led to his becoming governor of New York. Along the way, he notes, he followed his instincts guided by his deeply instilled values. Recommended for libraries in New York State with strong political science or local government collections.

--Jill Ortner, SUNY at Buffalo Libraries

Kirkus Reviews
Writing with Paisner (co-author of books with former New York mayor Ed Koch and talk-show celebs Geraldo Rivera and Montel Williams), New York governor Pataki reminds New Yorkers why they should vote him in his as-yet-unannounced reelection bid and sends up a trial balloon for politicos wondering if he might become the next Republican wonder boy on the national scene.

His is the classic second-generation-American-makes-good story. The Hungarian Patakis were poor farmers in Peekskill, NY; George worked hard on the farm; they didn't have much, but they were rich in other ways, i.e., the important social and moral ways that ultimately enabled him to understand, say, how to reform welfare. The son of a mailman, George went to Yale and then Columbia Law School. He tried the large corporate law-firm scene but didn't really have the stomach for it. Pataki turned to politics, where he served first as Peekskill's mayor and then eventually as a state representative. Finally, after winning races that no one thought he could, he took on Democratic demigod Mario Cuomo and won. The book chronicles a little of that race but mostly focuses on Pataki's roots, which he clumsily uses to enlighten readers about his Republican public policies. His summer stint on the coal cars at the nearby Fleischmann's factory, for instance, enabled him, he says, to have "enormous respect for people who work in production and manufacturing." That led to the theory that "we need enlightened employers who understand that the employees are part of a team, that they have an obligation to protect workers and an interest in helping them succeed."

A thinly veiled campaign tool that might be a useful history for politicalreporters, pundits, and politicians wondering what makes Pataki tick, but as interesting reading for the general public? Fuhgeddaboutit.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670873395
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/1/1998
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
1. November 8, 1994-4:00 P.M 1
2. Land and Work 10
3. On the River 35
4. The Campaign 50
5. The Values of a Peekskill Farmer 76
6. The Political Life 107
7. Restoring Freedom in New York State 145
8. Crime and Punishment 151
9. Family 160
10. November 8, 1994-7:00 P.M 186
11. Against the Tide 198
Index 215
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