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NYT Review: MARIO CUOMO: Remembrances of a Remarkable Man

26th March 2017

BOOKSHELF | by Sam Roberts | May 24, 2017

In the early 1990s, Gov. Mario M. Cuomo asked Peter C. Goldmark Jr., a former city and state official, to draft proposals for a constitutional convention, a reformer’s dream that evaporated when Mr. Cuomo lost his re-election bid in 1994.

What’s left in Albany, Mr. Goldmark told Mr. Lachman, “is an unholy confluence of leader tyranny, corrupt campaign financing, insidious gerrymandering and no real oversight on integrity, due process and transparency.”

William O’Shaughnessy’s book is a timely reminder of the passion and inspiration missing from today’s loyal opposition.

Speaking of Mr. Cuomo, the broadcaster William O’Shaughnessy’s love letter to the former governor, who died two years ago, “Mario Cuomo: Remembrances of a Remarkable Man” (Whitney Media Publishing Group, $35), is both an unabashed tribute and a timely reminder of the passion and inspirational positive thinking largely missing from today’s loyal opposition.

In one telling passage, the author Gay Talese explains why Mr. Cuomo decided against a presidential campaign: His family was from Calabria, a Southern Italian village of people who “like to stay close to home and sleep in our own bed.” Mr. Talese told Mr. O’Shaughnessy: “You guys are Irish. Your people could be cops, firemen, and the wives could be nannies. You spoke the language. Italians had to dig ditches because we didn’t speak the language. It makes Mario all the more amazing.”

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