The American Mayor: The Best & The Worst Big City Leaders Melvin G. Holli

ISBN: 9780271018775

Published: March 19th 1999


210 pages


The American Mayor: The Best & The Worst Big City Leaders  by  Melvin G. Holli

The American Mayor: The Best & The Worst Big City Leaders by Melvin G. Holli
March 19th 1999 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, audiobook, mp3, RTF | 210 pages | ISBN: 9780271018775 | 10.49 Mb

The American Mayor offers a unique ranking of the nations big-city mayors by expert scholars. Although the mayoralty is one of the most important political executive offices, it has escaped the kind of evaluations by which scholars have ranked American presidents. Now, thanks to Melvin Holli, we have a comparable survey of the best and worst mayors, covering some 730 mayors from the big-fifteen cities, from the beginning of the modern office in 1820 to the 1990s.

The poll of historians, biographers, and social scientists produced a remarkably strong consensus.Who were our best mayors? The list ranges from Bostons Great Mayor Josiah Quincy (1823-1828) to New York Citys Fiorello La Guardia (1934-1945), who is first on the all-time-best list.

La Guardia, a stouthearted fireplug of a man, built modern New York, fought Murder Incorporated, read the comics to children over the air during a newspaper strike, and was a symbol of ethnic probity and honesty. Sandwiched between Quincy and La Guardia are several other outstanding mayors, including Clevelands Tom Johnson (1901-1909), Pittsburghs David Lawrence (1946-1959), Detroits Hazen Pingree (1890-1897), and Los Angeless Tom Bradley (1973-1993).Taking the first-worst prize among scoundrel mayors is Chicagos William H.

Big Bill Thompson (1915-1923, 1927-1931), one of the most colorful mayors in the citys history, if not the most corrupt. Big Bill, also known as Kaiser Bill for his pro-German stand during World War I, accepted campaign funds from gangsters including Al Capone. Also among the worst is another Chicago mayor, Jane Byrne (1979-1983), the only woman on the list. Jersey Citys Frank Hague (1917-1947) and Philadelphias Frank Rizzo (1972-1980) are among the other notable rascals who have sat in city halls.The American Mayor presents complete findings of Hollis poll in jargon-free fashion.

Holli explains the results of the survey, gives biographical sketches of the ten best mayors, as well as some attention to the worst, and then uses the findings of modern leadership studies to explore mayoral success and failure. He concludes with a chapter titled Pathways to Power, in which he reviews the New York City political milieu that produced the nations best mayor, Fiorello La Guardia, and also examines the career of the nations most successful big-city mayor, Buffalos Grover Cleveland, the only mayor to become president of the United States.

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