John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York
In a stunning repudiation of the Democratic machine, John V. Lindsay (1921-2000) captured the New York mayoralty in 1965 by promising to rid the city of apathy and corruption and make New York governable again. Over the next eight years, Lindsay presided over a city at the vortex of the civil rights, antiwar, women's, and gay rights movements, a turbulent global economy, demographic upheaval defined by an influx of blacks and Puerto Ricans and an exodus of whites, and volatile local labor politics further fractured by race. He would revolutionize urban planning, hoping to make New York not just inhabitable but enjoyablea celebration of itself-and he would attempt to overhaul the government's services and priorities.
Some reforms succeeded. Others failed. While few have evaluated Lindsay's controversial legacy with the benefit of hindsight and within the context of national cultural upheaval, this book does just that. Edited by The New York Times urban affairs correspondent Sam Roberts and published in collaboration with the Museum of the City of New York, America's Mayor is lavishly illustrated and features original essays by Hilary Ballon, Joshua Freeman, Jeff Greenfield, Pete Hamill, Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Kenneth T. Jackson, John Mollenkopf, Charles Morris, Nicholas Pileggi, Richard Reeves, James Sanders, and Steven Weisman. Key contemporaries such as Jimmy Breslin, Mario Cuomo, and Juan Gonzalez offer personal reminiscences enhanced by compelling documents and articles.
With his undeniable charisma and bold support for cities and urban living, Lindsay galvanized the attention of a nation at a time of looming crisis. This collection vividly reexamines the truth behind Lindsay's reputation as a failed dreamer and the forces that transformed him into America's mayor.
"This book is about Lindsay's dream to reinvent New York. Fully a half century since Lindsay was elected to public office, the aftershocks of his record still reverberate as a government grappling with the consequences of immigration, income inequality, a healthcare crisis, and environmental adversity confronts the legacy of the 1960s.
A generation before Rudy Giuliani usurped the title, John V. Lindsay was America's Mayor. While he came to personify the decade's explosive problems, he also exemplified bold potential solutions that were advanced as a national urban agenda, one that resonates today as states and municipalities struggle to avoid bankruptcy."from the Introduction