Cover Image: I Never Did Like Politics

I Never Did Like Politics

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Naturally, I knew of feisty, outspoken New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia, but, until I read this lively biography, I didn't know much about him. I didn't know what he accomplished as NYC mayor during the Great Depression and World War 2. I didn't know about his years in Congress or how he also served in the military.

An absolutely fascinating, beautifully written biography of a man who made a difference for regular people. Definitely not a typical "birth to death" biography but instead, one that focused on key areas, particularly as to his political life.

Very highly recommended!!

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I've flown through La Guardia airport, but never thought about who it was named after! So this was an enlightening little dive into history for me.
Fiorello La Guardia was born in New York to Italian and Jewish immigrant parents. His dad was in the military, though, so the family moved around a bit. The younger La Guardia spent a formative portion of his youth in Arizona, actually, and maintained a love of the Western/cowboy mythology. However, his adulthood found him back in NYC.
He held many jobs in his early years, and several of them were in the service of the nation's immigrant population. First, he served in an office in Europe, helping people there get ready to make the trip to the US. Later, after learning several languages during his time abroad, he worked as a translator at Ellis Island.
He also served in WWI, and was a US Congressman before coming home to roost in New York, and rising to the rank of the city's mayor. He lead the city through a portion of the Great Depression, and WWII. Although he was technically a Republican, he often did not vote along party lines, and was close friends with the Democrat president, Franklin D. Roosevelt.
This book was broken up into four parts, which weren't exactly drawn along chronological lines, but rather topical ones. They were: Patriot, Dissenter, Leader, and Statesman.
I enjoyed learning about La Guardia as a person, and about his accomplishments. I may be biased, as I am a third-generation Italian-American myself, and my ancestors came through Ellis Island. But the author's aim was not only educating us about the man, but showing us why he should still be looked at as a good example in today's world... for his genuine want to serve others, and for his bipartisanship.
The only thing that bothered me slightly in this one was that sometimes the descriptions got repetitive. The author reminded us often that the mayor was short, and had a high-pitched voice, for example.
Minor annoyances aside, though, this was a lovely read. It would be perfect for anyone interested in US history.

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I love reading biographies about famous politicians and this certainly was a great one. Fiorelli LaGuardia was a token candidate for a Saint Tammany nominee who he would eventually beat to become the Manhattan congressman from New York Who was also the first Italian American to be voted in and would eventually become mayor of New York in 1934 and stay there until 1945 he was a rare politician who didn’t negotiate his principles like when he voted for America to join the great war in 1917 he two joined the military to prove he would put his money where his vote was. He also thought every American was deserving of what any other American deserved whether they were poor rich or in between he was a great politician who even has an airport named after him but at the time they call it Fiorello’s Follie but now is an airport that millions of people go to a year. I really enjoyed this book and found his life to be so interesting I have a great interest in Saint Tammany hall and the destruction of that hall and so found this book to be a great read in one I definitely recommend and a five-star read. I have read this authors/journalist books before and they always read like a great fiction story and this one was no exception. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for my free arc copy please forgive any mistakes as I am blind and dictate my review.

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I didn't know much about Fiorella LaGuardia before beginning the book, I Never Did Like Politics, and I found myself shedding tears at the end when author, Terry Golway, wrote about his death. An Italian-American who wasn't a born politician, but instead a born statesman (just don't tell him), Golway lays out the time of LaGuardia's life and his foray into both local, national and international politics. A fierce and stubborn man, LaGuardia had a good heart and cared deeply about New York City. While history would look back at some of his actions in a critical way, I appreciated that Golway didn't shy away from calling these things out; particularly when it came to race relations.

The life and career of LaGuardia is specifically relevant today as the United States deal with a polarizing electorate and our country seems to be on the brink of something...change, collapse, isolationism? The lessons and insights that can be gained from the leadership style of LaGuardia could teach present day politicians more than a thing or two.

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for the gifted ARC.

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Many thanks to NetGalley for the chance to read this wonderful new book. In short, this is why I read. I love US and World History, Biographies, and Memoirs. This was a treat. Elegant writing. I grew up very close to NYC and have travelled through LaGuardia Airport at least 200 times!. But now I know the story of this terrific man. Our country has had so many characters that have made this country what it is today (both good and bad). This should be required reading and I do hope that some colleges add to courses on US History. Really learned a ton about this man and his significant accomplishments. Highly recommended!

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I don’t normally read nonfiction, but I had to read this book about “America’s Mayor”, Fiorello H. LaGuardia. I lived in Queens until I was thirty, but I only knew LaGuardia as the Italian American mayor of New York City and the airport that was named after him. (I was actually at that airport last week dropping my daughter and her cousin there for a girls trip.)
As a native New Yorker, I appreciated this book. I knew nothing about him and he was so much more than anything I could have imagined. This book started off really great, telling about LaGuardia’s policies. However, then the author started pushing his own opinion into the book, and going off the rails. After that, I was done with the book. I did finish it, but I read it to learn about America’s mayor, not to hear someone preach their own views.
Many thanks to the author, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for a complimentary copy of the book. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.

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My mother was a fan of LaGuardia. After reading this book I can see why. Throughout his career he had a tendency to take matters into his own hands when thwarted by bureaucracy and he could usually pull it off. He firmly and combatively fought for what he believed was right, not towing to a party line. His government service was extensive but it was as mayor of New York City that he gained renown. This book is full of Fiorello stories that seem made for the movies. They are delightful while also portraying a man who cared about his constituents and also had vision for the future. Although Terry Golway’s biography of LaGuardia does point out some of his weaknesses and faults, at times it seems nearly hagiographic. That might be what happens when the subject is a Good Guy.

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Thanks to NetGalley, Terry Golway, and St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read an advanced copy of I Never Did Like Politics. I received an advanced reader copy for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

I wanted to read this book because my mother's family is related to Fiorello LaGuardia and I wanted to understand more about who he was as a person.

He is well known as being the best mayor that New York has ever had. Was he a perfect human? No, but who really is? It is important that he grew as a person and grew in his political beliefs. He believed in social justice and equality.

The author took the time to do a lot of thorough research, but the inclusion of how LaGuardia would be as a politician in today's times felt a little too opinionated and felt more biased than how a nonfiction piece should be presented.

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I Never Did Like Politics
Posted on February 17, 2024 by Jack

Both my parents grew up in New York City while Fiorello La Guardia was mayor. I can remember them talking about Mayor La Guardia when I was growing up. He seemed interesting but I never got around to learning much more about him. This book fixed that problem.

The book is “I Never Did Like Politics: How Fiorello La Guardia Became America’s Mayor, and Why He Still Matters” by Terry Golway.

I enjoyed the book and learned a good bit. It was not what I consider the typical biography. It is fairly brief on what some would consider biographical details. But by focusing on specific areas, it gave a real understanding of the character of this unusual and fascinating leader as well as the times.

I thank Netgalley and St Martin’s Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. The book is scheduled to be published on February 20.

The book is highly readable, relevant to our times, and highly recommended.

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I Never Did Like Politics: How Fiorello LaGuardia Became America’s Mayor and Why He Still Matters Today by Terry Golway. While I grew up in New York State, I only knew a handful of things about Fiorello LaGuardia. In reading this book I learned so much more about this man. The book is easy to understand and is broken down into chapters that discuss different periods of time in Mayor LaGuardia’s life.

Fiorello LaGuardia was a three term Mayor of New York City. He was also a United States Representative who left Washington in order to serve his Country during World War I. It was his idea to build the airport in Queens which is now named after him. He wanted to make New York City a hub for travel. He was unapologetically an American Patriot. He was also known as a man who didn’t mince words and you either liked him or you didn’t.

My only complaint was that Mr. Golway veered off his topic somewhat. He started comparing and contrasting Mayor LaGuardia’s ideals with the issues we are facing in the political arena today. I understand that the title implies that the author would tell us why Mayor LaGuardia would be a good example for the politicians today. It seems to me that Mr. Golway was pushing his own political ideology. I however did not let it to deter me from finishing the book. I am sure many people will be upset by this. I just jumped over the parts that were opinionated and moved along. I think a book just about Fiorello LaGuardia would have lead a lot of readers to wish his ideals were in effect today.

I would like to thank St. Martin's Press for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This is not just a biography of a colorful figure in American politics. It's a defining picture of of an era in American history. The mayor of New York City has always had a prominenet role in the world view of America but Fiorella La Guardia was a king of his piece of the world. His story is both eye opening and entertaining.

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This was a a quick, witty, concise and entertaining read about Fiorello La Guardia and why he so important not only in New York state history, but also US History. Each chapter had more information about his background, struggles and triumphs. An enjoyable book about someone who became a well-known politician but he was not about politics first, but helping people.

Thanks to Netgalley, Terry Golway and St Martin's Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Available: 2/20/2024

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I knew practically nothing about Fiorello LaGuardia going into this book. I knew that he was a famous New York City mayor and now has an airport named after him. Through this very readable book, I learned that he was so much more. The airport is named after him, partially because he is the reason New York City is a hub for air travel. He was not only a mayor but an international diplomat and US Representative. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was simply written and easy to understand. Each chapter focused on another facet of LaGuardia's life, communicating who he was through short stories that exemplified his personality or career. It was a very enjoyable read, and I'm glad I now know more about "America's Mayor".

Thank you to St. Martin's Press for this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

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A massive thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review!! I really enjoyed this book; definitely something I will tell my friends about!

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This began as a delightful look at one of America's most colorful men in politics. I really enjoyed learning more about La Guardia and for a while enjoyed learning how closely aligned his concerns were with the concerns of many people today.

After I got into the book, I realized that once he started comparing and contrasting LaGuardia's ideals with today's political atmosphere, Golway was merely tauting his own political (or cultural) agenda and went far afield of his established purpose in writing the book. And at that point, he lost me and I lost interest.

The beginning is excellent, the development is intriguing, but once the author starts preaching, the whole book declines.

I appreciate this ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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I Never Did Like Politics is a great little biography of How Fiorello La Guardia Became America's Mayor, and Why He Still Matters by Terry Golway.
Ok, so this was a great book about one of America’s greatest politicians.
I was immediately drawn to this book and honestly I enjoyed the heck out of it,
It was so interesting reading and learning more about greatest mayor NYC ever had.
I found it to be fascinating and appealing.
The writing was great and Golway did an amazing job keeping with his words to keep me reading.

Thank You NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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Sure, I knew the name. La Guardia. It was an airport. Ok, I recall hearing about the Little Flower here and there. Oh, and he was connected to New York City. So I was in for a big surprise reading this biography. It was such a fun, upbeat read, and I was impressed by this rumpled man’s character and career. I even got misty eyed reading about some of his amazing accomplishments.

He was a diplomat, congressman, major in the army, and had a popular radio show. He stood up to Tammany Hall and crossed party lines, focused on what was right for the people. He was instrumental in the creation of the Fair Employment Practices Committee to fight racial discrimination. Advocated for American relief efforts for European refugees.

Most of all, La Guardia is a role model for the non-political government leader. He had an oversized trust in his own moral compass. He saw what was right and what was needed and he determined to just do it.

Everything La Guardia stood for still matters. Leadership for the good of the people. A deep hearted love for justice and equality. Staying true to one’s values and beliefs. We needed this kind of leadership in the 20th c, and we sure need it today.

Thanks to the publisher for an ARC

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I Never Did Like Politics. Terry Golway has written an interesting and informative biography about Fiorello LaGuardia that reads like a love letter to the man many consider the greatest mayor NYC ever had. Born to Italian immigrants, Fiorello was a fierce American patriot who “made it his life’s mission to replace despair with patience, hopelessness with fortitude.” Although a member of Congress he still signed up to serve his country as a pilot during WWI. As the mayor of NYC during the depression and WWII his friendship with Franklin Roosevelt was financially very beneficial to the city. I was excited to be given an ARC because until reading the book my knowledge of LaGuardia was confined to the musical and that an airport bears his name. My review is voluntary. Highly recommend.

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A quick and compelling read on a fascinating figure in NY history. A great biography that helps conceptualist and contextualize a 20th century figure whose legacy is still very relevant today.

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I Never Did Like Politics is a great look at the legacy of Mayor LaGuardia and the impact himself and other immigrants have had on not just New York but America itself.

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