Mario Cuomo: A Biography

Robert S. McElvaine, Author Scribner Book Company $0 (449p) ISBN 978-0-684-18970-3
This generally sympathetic portrait of the New York State governor by the author of Down and Out in the Great Depression is based on interviews with Cuomo, his friends and peers. A rugged, ""man of the people'' persona, McElvaine suggests, conceals a first-rate mind, broad intellectual interests and a profound commitment to religion and public service. Introspective and private, Cuomo is moody with a volatile temper and a competitiveness displayed in a brief career in minor-league baseball, according to the author. Viewing the community as an extended family, the governor, McElvaine also notes, holds that a leader should be responsible for its weaker members and adept at conciliating differences. The author attributes Cuomo's unorthodox rise in politics in part to his oratorical gifts and to lessons he learned from his failed 1977 New York City mayoral race. As keynote speaker at the 1984 Democratic Convention, he won national stature, leading to his position, thus far, of reluctant front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nominationan eventuality that the author in a concluding chapter assesses positively. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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