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The Gentleman From New York : Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Biography

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Coinciding with his departure from the United States Senate after twenty-four years of distinguished service, this major work is the first comprehensive account of the life and ideas of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a great political figure and a brilliant and complex man. Godfrey Hodgson, a highly regarded expert on American politics and history, has known Senator Moynihan for Coinciding with his departure from the United States Senate after twenty-four years of distinguished service, this major work is the first comprehensive account of the life and ideas of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a great political figure and a brilliant and complex man. Godfrey Hodgson, a highly regarded expert on American politics and history, has known Senator Moynihan for four decades and had full access to him and to his political papers while preparing this book. In addition, he interviewed dozens of Moyhnihan's friends, aides, and antagonists. Both admiring and critical, this balanced portrait follows Moynihan's rise from an unpromising childhood in a broken middle-class family (not, as many believe, a tenement boyhood in New York's Hell's Kitchen). It explains how a self-described "birthright Democrat" could decide to work for Richard Nixon, and how a man elected to the Senate as the darling of the neoconservatives could come to oppose Ronald Reagan and fight for the goals of mainstream Democrats. It deals at length with Moynihan's sometimes embattled tenure as our ambassador to India and to the United Nations. Above all, it is the history of a mind, portraying Moynihan as a prophet who again and again saw through the conventional wisdom of liberals and conservatives alike, and who expressed his insights with clarity, vigor, and not a little wit. From "benign neglect" to "defining deviancy down," his formulation of some of the central problems of American society are sure to remain part of our national discourse for years to come. Among the many prominent people who appear in these pages, some in fascinating behind-the-scenes encounters, are Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon; Henry Kissinger; Indira Gandhi; and Elizabeth Moynihan, the senator's wife and a remarkable figure in her own right. This splendid biography powerfully illuminates the life and ideas of a courageous, controversial, truly impressive American, whose entire career embodies a sustained faith in the possibility of a Great Society.


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Coinciding with his departure from the United States Senate after twenty-four years of distinguished service, this major work is the first comprehensive account of the life and ideas of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a great political figure and a brilliant and complex man. Godfrey Hodgson, a highly regarded expert on American politics and history, has known Senator Moynihan for Coinciding with his departure from the United States Senate after twenty-four years of distinguished service, this major work is the first comprehensive account of the life and ideas of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a great political figure and a brilliant and complex man. Godfrey Hodgson, a highly regarded expert on American politics and history, has known Senator Moynihan for four decades and had full access to him and to his political papers while preparing this book. In addition, he interviewed dozens of Moyhnihan's friends, aides, and antagonists. Both admiring and critical, this balanced portrait follows Moynihan's rise from an unpromising childhood in a broken middle-class family (not, as many believe, a tenement boyhood in New York's Hell's Kitchen). It explains how a self-described "birthright Democrat" could decide to work for Richard Nixon, and how a man elected to the Senate as the darling of the neoconservatives could come to oppose Ronald Reagan and fight for the goals of mainstream Democrats. It deals at length with Moynihan's sometimes embattled tenure as our ambassador to India and to the United Nations. Above all, it is the history of a mind, portraying Moynihan as a prophet who again and again saw through the conventional wisdom of liberals and conservatives alike, and who expressed his insights with clarity, vigor, and not a little wit. From "benign neglect" to "defining deviancy down," his formulation of some of the central problems of American society are sure to remain part of our national discourse for years to come. Among the many prominent people who appear in these pages, some in fascinating behind-the-scenes encounters, are Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, and Richard Nixon; Henry Kissinger; Indira Gandhi; and Elizabeth Moynihan, the senator's wife and a remarkable figure in her own right. This splendid biography powerfully illuminates the life and ideas of a courageous, controversial, truly impressive American, whose entire career embodies a sustained faith in the possibility of a Great Society.

30 review for The Gentleman From New York : Daniel Patrick Moynihan: A Biography

  1. 5 out of 5

    John Ward

    His book on Stimson was better

  2. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    Good biography of a great man. DPM was a intellectual giant. An amazing career. One of New York's finest senators. This was the seat that Hilary Clinton filled. I think she "did him proud". I decided to read this book while I was reading Tim Russert's book, Me and Big Russ. Russert had the distinct honor to work for Senator Moynihan for a few years. The more he wrote of his experience with The Senator, the more intrigued I became. People on the political Left and Right still quote him today. Whe Good biography of a great man. DPM was a intellectual giant. An amazing career. One of New York's finest senators. This was the seat that Hilary Clinton filled. I think she "did him proud". I decided to read this book while I was reading Tim Russert's book, Me and Big Russ. Russert had the distinct honor to work for Senator Moynihan for a few years. The more he wrote of his experience with The Senator, the more intrigued I became. People on the political Left and Right still quote him today. When I look at the political pygmies in both parties today........

  3. 5 out of 5

    Harry Lane

    A well written bio of an interesting and consequential figure in American politics. Hodgson's treatment might be a bit adulatory, but the facts of Moynihan's life speak eloquently for themselves. To liberals, he often seemed to be a conservative, and to conservatives a liberal. He was, in fact, a moderate Democrat with an original mind and an independent streak. No one on the scene today seems to have his ability to get to the gist of an issue and then explicate it robustly. And that's a shame. A well written bio of an interesting and consequential figure in American politics. Hodgson's treatment might be a bit adulatory, but the facts of Moynihan's life speak eloquently for themselves. To liberals, he often seemed to be a conservative, and to conservatives a liberal. He was, in fact, a moderate Democrat with an original mind and an independent streak. No one on the scene today seems to have his ability to get to the gist of an issue and then explicate it robustly. And that's a shame.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Moynihan's life story is fascinating, and I am personally a big fan of him. The book, however, is not the best read. It lacks a consistent storyline, which is something you would not expect from a biography. Moynihan's life story is fascinating, and I am personally a big fan of him. The book, however, is not the best read. It lacks a consistent storyline, which is something you would not expect from a biography.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Anthony Rishchynski

    A good biography of my favorite liberal-cum-conservative, Pat Moynihan. The chapter on his UN Ambassadorship has a lot of great anecdotes not least about Pat's complex relationship with Kissinger. A good biography of my favorite liberal-cum-conservative, Pat Moynihan. The chapter on his UN Ambassadorship has a lot of great anecdotes not least about Pat's complex relationship with Kissinger.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Laura Daly

    Daniel Patrick Moynihan - politician, intellectual, adviser to Presidents, Senator from New York, Democrat, Speaker of the Senate, Wit. A life worth reading about.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Tepera

  8. 4 out of 5

    Geoffrey Kabaservice

  9. 5 out of 5

    Spats

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Caudill

  11. 5 out of 5

    Hugh Allen

  12. 5 out of 5

    Josh

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jim

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mary

  15. 5 out of 5

    Donald Brownlee

  16. 4 out of 5

    William

  17. 5 out of 5

    Todd

  18. 4 out of 5

    David F

  19. 4 out of 5

    Giancarlo Di

  20. 5 out of 5

    Pat

  21. 4 out of 5

    Keir R

  22. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  23. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  24. 4 out of 5

    Draper

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paul Manrique

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mike Haggerty

  27. 5 out of 5

    terence p hanifin

  28. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  29. 4 out of 5

    Paul

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sam Bissell

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