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A New Deal for New York
by Mike Wallace
Publisher: Bell & Weiland Publishers/Gotham Center Books 2002
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Avg Rating: (1 review)
Hailed in the New York Observer as a "utopian gesture in a city that has been mired in grim realities, " A New Deal for New York is a stirring call-to-arms from the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Mike Wallace. Written with the same verve and gusto of his Edwin G. Burrows's monumental Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, this new book is the most sweeping and ambitious response to the terrorist attacks. In it, Wallace argues that we not just rebuild and memorialize the World Trade Center site, but rethink and plan more broadly for the entire city's future. He tells the fascinating and largely unknown history of the financial center, revealing a wide variety of myths and obfuscations about the city's growth and success in recent years. He candidly and convincingly summarizes the many ambitious but viable projects that would improve all of New York by launching what he calls "the new New Deal"--a multipronged plan that, mindful of both the grand successes and dismal disappointments of the original New Deal, would feature such longed-for improvements as a revitalized port, improved mass transit, and more affordable housing. In short, he argues, September 11 has provided us an "opening, as a city, to make our own course corrections on the river of history, if we have the desire and can summon the will. It won't be the end of an era unless we decide to make it one. Happily, there are substantial grounds for believing that, under the press of hard blows and hard times, our audacious metropolis will again lead the nation in recalling our history, reimagining our future, and seizing hold of our collective destiny."

Reviews

High Time for Big Ideas - July 8th, 2004
In the murcky aftermath of the sustained Reagan-Bush assault on the idea that government can and should engage in tasks other than the enrichment of the already rich, NDNY offers an unsentimental and realistic assessment of our present fiscal and commercial situation in NYC. It argues forcefully and gracefully for a renaissance of modified New Deal liberalism. Government, Wallace rightly understands, is neither friend nor enemy intrsinsically; it is a tool that can and will be used by those who recognize its potential. A new deal for NY will mean a broader adjustment of the role of government, one that re-asserts the idea of public interest.

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