LA GUARDIA by Arthur Mann
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LA GUARDIA

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Subtitled A Fighter Against His Times: 1882-1933 this is the first volume of a proposed two volume biography of Fiorello La Guardia by an Associate Professor of History at Smith College. Painstakingly researched and efficiently organized, this is as much a history of the ideals of the Progressive Era, the political exuberance and disillusionment of the Twenties and the turmoil and excitement of the New Deal, as it is a study of La Guardia. Although variously associated with LaFollette's Progressives, the radical leftists of New York's Lower East Side, the New Dealers, the Little Flower, a Republican, defies party and movement labels and emerges in this biography as the unique political whirlwind that he was. Mann concludes this volume shortly before La Guardia was elected Mayor of New York City. He therefore concentrates on Fiorello's youth in Arizona, in Trieste, as a young law student at New York University, a fledgling politician incensed by the corrupt Tammany, a war hero, and as the tremendously energetic Congressman from East Harlem. Half-Jewish, half-Italian, born in Greenwich Village but raised in Arizona, married first to a Catholic, then to a Lutheran but himself a Mason and an Episcopalian, Fiorello LaGuardia had special advantages in manipulating the vote of minority groups. An astute politician, the image he created and which survives him is that of the angry man defying the Interests and rushing to the defense of the People. A lively and immensely interesting story of a man who fitted into no categories at all, who was at the same time an insider and an outsider.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 1959
Publisher: Lippincott