I'D DO IT AGAIN by James Michael Curley


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A strange and revealing self portrait, this autobiography of James M. Curley. Four times he was elected as Mayor of Boston, six times defeated for the same office; once he was elected Governor of Massachusetts, twice defeated; almost every type of public office that he wanted was his at one time or another:- Common Council, Alderman, City Council, State Legislature, U.S. House of Representative -- and, to date, National Committeeman --quite a record for a half century. His achievements too make an impressive record. But, as one reads, the man himself emerges:- ambitious, magnetic, able, but wholly uninhibited, it would seem, when it comes to ways and means of achieving his goals. That those goals were frequently admirable and that the people were in the back of his mind constantly does not alter the end impression of Curley as a dangerous demagogue, bitter in his resentment of the Boston Brahmins, ruthless in using tools at hand to pillory his enemies, and ready to attribute failure and set-back and defeat again and again to the power of the pocketbook and the vested interests. There was a good deal of the Louisiana Kingfish about him, though he had less drive for power for its own sake than did Huey Long. The opening chapters, while he was still feeling his way through the maze of the political jungle, give one glimpses of just such another politician as the lovable rascal, Skeffington, of The Last Hurrah (said to be based on Curley). Those characteristics fade and yield to bombastic self-assurance and overweening conceit in the last half of the book. Only people interested in politics as a phase of American life- and those in his own area who are curious about what sort of portrait he will draw are apt to find the book of particular interest.

Pub Date: May 18th, 1957
Publisher: Prentice-Hall