Pete Sikora's Reviews > The Ungovernable City

The Ungovernable City by Vincent J. Cannato
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M 50x66
's review
Jun 14, 09

really liked it
Read in March, 2009

Excellent writing... lively and provocative, but not overly so. Absent a weak second half, it'd be five stars.

Now to a side note: I've noticed that conservative historians are class obsessed... they're obsessed with demonstrating that there's like 2 rich people in America, and that everyone else is middle class.

Paul Johnson did it in his History of the U.S. And Cannato does it here, weirdly insisting that Lindsay was just middle class, not the patrician money we all think he was

On page 2 we get "In New York he was, in monetary terms, only middle class"). But in the next 2 paragraphs, we find out that Lindsay's father was an investment banker who became president of an international banking firm affiliated with Credit Suisse... the family lived on the upper west side and then Park Avenue. Maybe he meant Park Avenue in Harlem or something.

It's a weird tick they've got. It's like a commie insisting they came from the peasants, but with a American pro-capital ideological twist.

Finally, I do have a nagging sense he makes up a lot of shit. I don't know tho, so I'm assuming it's on the level. Anyway, a lively read and well-written. If it didn't bog down mid-way through, it'd be top rating.

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