“Fascinating. . . . Williams tells the story of La Guardia and Roosevelt with insight and elegance.”—Edward Glaeser, New York Times Book Review
Roosevelt and his “Brain Trust”—shrewd, energetic advisors such as Harold Ickes and Harry Hopkins—sought to fight the Depression by channeling federal resources through America’s cities and counties. La Guardia had replaced Tammany Hall cronies with policy experts, such as the imperious Robert Moses, who were committed to a strong public sector. The two leaders worked closely together. La Guardia had a direct line of communication with FDR and his staff, often visiting Washington carrying piles of blueprints. Roosevelt relied on the mayor as his link to the nation’s cities and their needs. The combination was potent. La Guardia’s Gotham became a laboratory for New Deal reform. Roosevelt’s New Deal transformed city initiatives into major programs such as the Works Progress Administration, which changed the physical face of the United States. Together they built parks, bridges, and schools; put the unemployed to work; and strengthened the Progressive vision of government as serving the public purpose.
Today everyone knows the FDR Drive as a main route to La Guardia Airport. The intersection of steel and concrete speaks to a pair of dynamic leaders whose collaboration lifted a city and a nation. Here is their story.
About Mason B. WilliamsSee more books from this Author
...Williams’s aim is to write history, not policy analysis, and he succeeds impressively at that.Read Full Review of City of Ambition: FDR, La Gua... | See more reviews from NY Times
Mr. Williams's readable and well-researched history is in many ways a celebration of the La Guardia years, though it is, inadvertently, a cautionary tale as well.Read Full Review of City of Ambition: FDR, La Gua... | See more reviews from WSJ online
Perhaps too detailed, but a useful contribution to an already rich literature.Read Full Review of City of Ambition: FDR, La Gua... | See more reviews from Kirkus
An aggregated and normalized score based on 19 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes