|For twelve years Peter F. Vallone was, after the mayor, the most powerful political official in New York City. This book is the story of how he got from a clubhouse in Astoria to the levers of power in City Hallin the process overturning, with the help of the United States Supreme Court, the very structure of the citys government. It is simultaneously a chronicle of New York City politics over the past thirty-five years. Although a major figure in New York State (he was Democratic candidate for Governor in 1998), and for a while even in national politics, Vallone never left his roots in a typical New York City neighborhood. A strong family man, a strong Catholic, a loyal Democrat, he was notorious for fighting for the common man as well as the amateur legislator. He was the ideal foil for three of New York Citys most colorful mayors: Ed Koch, David Dinkins, and Rudy Giuliani. A seeming anomaly in an age of media saturation, Vallones story is both vital history and a primer in tolerance and good government.
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