Friday, March 31, 2006

Books Read in March 2006 - IV

by Rudolph W. Giuliani (Time Warner, 2002) 394pp.

Giuliani was coming to the end of his second term as mayor of New York at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Thus the event served as a focal point for explaining what he had learned about leadership in the years beore. He makes the case that had he not tackled the problems of the city in the way he did, New York would not have been able to handle 9/11 the way it did. Though this sounds like trumpet-blowing it does not come across this way. Besides, the numbers for crime reduction, employment, social care etc seem to speak for themselves.

The book is a mixture of simply stated principles he worked by, which served as springboards for telling many little stories about his experiences as a law graduate, US Attorney, Republican politician (he started as a Democrat!) in a Democrat city, and Mayor. So the book is part didactic, part biographical. This does make it a little clunky. I would have liked this book to be one thing or the other. Nevertheless, the principles were helpful and there was enough biography to keep my interest. I found it it quite moving as he wrote about his experiences in the aftermath of 9/11. Though in charge of a massive organisation, he made a point of making time for people, especially those who lost loved ones. I was able to feel the tension of pressing on to manage the situation while also having to handle intense feelings.

On the whole pretty enjoyable, informative and helpful.

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