Email this review


A very funny, raunchy but trenchant account by the Village Voice journalist (of sketchy political experience), who, one suspects, memorized, as well as managed Norman Mailer in the Democratic primary for Mayor of New York in 1969. In the Morning-After style of the best Voice reportage-bellicose, boozy, shot through with peak vibes and some stunning acuity--Flaherty peppers his telltale recall: from the initial summit in Brooklyn (""Do you know something--that fucking bum is serious!""-Breslin) through interim engagements to defeat (""Where did we go wrong? Basically by saying what we thought""). Along the way Flaherty unfolds the ""power to the neighborhoods"" theme, a pioneering position which has since been given some currency in establishment quarters. In the famous Village Gate performance (given here in its entirety) Mailer had insisted: "". . . 'til people see where their ideas lead, they know nothing."" But the bulk of the book is a series of memorable polemics, pratfalls, and one-liners (mainly Breslin's, viz. the returning Mayor Wagner as a ""busted valise"" or the many faces of Mailer--a ""homebred Harold Macmillan"" or one ""who grew fat and sweaty before our eyes!""). But when the mugging, wise-crackery and tanking-up is done, there's some political wisdom for every borough and Flaherty will get you everywhere.

Pub Date: May 29th, 1970
Publisher: Coward-McCann