ALL THE BEST: Letters from a Feisty Mayor by Edward I. with Leland T. Jones Koch

ALL THE BEST: Letters from a Feisty Mayor

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In this irrepressibly and sometimes contentiously annotated ""small sampling"" of his mayoral correspondence, New York's cantankerous former mayor gets in the last word on dozens of small and large controversies he engaged in while in office. Koch sounds off on international issues, equating Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega with deposed dictator Anastasio Debayle Somoza. He deplores the infamous racial murders that clouded his last years in office but continues to fan the flames of dissension, drag on his disputes with black leaders, and outrage civil libertarians with positions he calls ""liberal with sanity."" He also defends himself and his admirtistration from patronage charges, expresses hurt incredulity over the corruption uncovered during his last term, and gets back at enemies in the press and elsewhere. A UN undersecretary is ""unctuous and silly""; journalist Jack Newfield is ""a politician with a press pass""; and Harlem priest Father Lucas is ""venemous"" and ""plain bonkers,"" and ""has given new meaning to the word vile."" True to form, the book's last letter--a six-pager purporting to advise his successor on handling the job--uses the second person ""you"" or ""David"" 21 times and the words ""I,"" ""me,"" or ""mine"" 139 times. If New Yorkers have begun to mellow toward their lippy former mayor now that he's out of office, these opinionated swipes should bring the melting pot back to the boil.

Pub Date: April 27th, 1990
Publisher: Simon & Schuster