Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings by Samuel Florman

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In one of the book's many instructive anecdotes, he recalls an early project, a convent, where the city inspector found fault with nearly every detail.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings is an engaging memoir about one man's career in construction--rising to the top of an industry renowned for crime, corruption, violence, physical danger, and the chronic risk of financial catastrophe.

Starting in the Navy Seabees at the end of WWII, Samuel C. Florman made his way as a general contractor in New York City through the period of explosive development, private exuberance and the historic growth of publicly supported housing--all amidst the rise of the notorious Mafia families,
and evolution of the Civil Rights Movement. His storied career brought him into contact with a variety of personalities: politicians and civil servants, developers and technocrats, saintly do-gooders and corrupt rapscallions. Along with the rousing adventures there were satisfactions of a different sort:
the enchantment of seeing architecture made real; the pride of creating housing, hospitals, schools, places of worship--shelter for the body and nourishment for the spirit.

 

About Samuel Florman

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Samuel C. Florman is the chairman of Kreisler Borg Florman General Construction Company. He has published six books and over 250 articles and has written numerous reviews for The New York Times Book Review.  He has spoken at many engineering schools and discussed professional topics on television and radio.
 
Published March 13, 2012 by Thomas Dunne Books. 353 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, History, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings
All: 3 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 2

Kirkus

Above average
on Jan 30 2012

Succeeds in demystifying the world of large-scale urban contracting, but will probably have more emotional resonance for older readers, in and out of the field.

Read Full Review of Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putt... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Below average
Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on Jan 23 2012

The fact that Florman works thematically rather than chronologically also bogs down the narrative.

Read Full Review of Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putt... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

WSJ online

Excellent
Reviewed by Roger Lowenstein on Mar 13 2012

In one of the book's many instructive anecdotes, he recalls an early project, a convent, where the city inspector found fault with nearly every detail.

Read Full Review of Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putt... | See more reviews from WSJ online

Reader Rating for Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings
69%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 18 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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