Ed Koch, infamous mayor of New York City, former People’s Court judge and man of the people, is a fascinating character, the kind who wouldn’t even pa...more Ed Koch, infamous mayor of New York City, former People’s Court judge and man of the people, is a fascinating character, the kind who wouldn’t even pause to think about whether or not it is wise to call a rival “crazy,” and then go ahead and do it. Koch is your typical New Yorker: loud, brash, and passionate, with more chutzpah than you can shake your middle finger at. As mayor, Koch brought all of that and more to the table and, as the title of Jonathan Soffer’s new biography on “hizzoner” says, rebuilt New York City.
After too many years of mismanagement and decades of racial and economic disharmony, New York City in the 1970’s was a shambles. Successive mayors failed to save New York, and the infamous city that never sleeps was on a fast track to a nightmare. Enter Koch, a lawyer from Greenwich Village who enters politics, takes on Tammany Hall, becomes a Congressman, and then mayor of the Big Apple. Who but a crazy person would want the job, especially after the city rioted after the infamous blackout of 1977, which saw large swaths of impoverished neighborhoods looted and burned to the ground?
Koch was a polarizing figure during the course of his mayoralty, and Soffer’s text deftly traces Koch’s humble beginnings in the Bronx to his towering rise atop the world’s most fabulous city. We are taken on a journey that examines Koch’s personal life, his political aspirations, and the difficulties inherent in running a troubling city.
Soffer is obviously a Koch fan, however, when needed, he is rightly critical of the mayor. His actions towards the myriad minority communities of the City, particularly blacks, are expertly handled throughout the course of the book, and Soffer expertly details the fall of Koch’s reign when his final term in office becomes rife with scandal and chaos.
Ed Koch and the Rebuilding of New York City is a well-written look at an oft polarizing figure and a must-read for anyone who is a student or passionate about the history and personalities of New York City. (less)
Ready Player One is one of the best novels I have read in quite a while. I had a hunch after reading the prologue that I would really enjoy this novel...moreReady Player One is one of the best novels I have read in quite a while. I had a hunch after reading the prologue that I would really enjoy this novel, and was only a third of the way through when I thought to myself, "this book could rate a rare five stars." Five stars means that I not only loved it, but that it's one of my favorite books.
Ready Player One is one of my favorite books of all-time. It's perfectly tailored to me: 80's nostalgia, video games, dystopian future, exciting action, a protagonist I not only identify with, but enjoyed immensely and wouldn't mind handing out with, and a world - here a virtual world - that I'd love to experience in real life (or in my gaming) life. Ernest Cline has crafted a novel that drew me in and ignited my imagination as much as Frank Herbert did with Dune or, to use a more recent (but lesser) example, Daniel Suarez did with Daemon. I want to absorb myself in the old games, movies and television shows that informed not just my youth, but this tour de force. Bravo!(less)