Review by Choice Review
When someone who "served brilliantly as press secretary" to a recent mayor of New York City writes a biography of a former mayor--even of one in office more than a century and a half earlier--readers discover that no mayor is always fully dressed. The indefatigable DeWitt Clinton--socialized to 18th-century gentry values but coming to maturity in an increasingly market-oriented and democratic society--stretched and accommodated enough to be appointed as the city's mayor for 12 years and to serve as the state's governor twice. He spearheaded the construction of the Erie Canal, promoted public education, advanced New York's institutions of high culture, and fought discrimination against Irish immigrants. Cornog demonstrates that the strengths and foibles of political officeholders are especially evident to those who live close to them, whether as press secretaries or biographers. Cornog respects Clinton's political success and achievements, even as he apparently comes to dislike the man. All levels. J. L. Cooper DePauw University
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
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