Giuliani Time

News & Politics

In some ways Giuliani is the perfect GOP candidate for the present era: a 9/11 poster-boy, tough-talking (even if undermined somewhat by the lisp), a meritocrat immune to crippling disparities along class and ethnic lines; in other senses he's a lousy choice with a pro-choice past, a high-profile sexual dalliance and, consequently, paltry evangelical chops. Anyone watching McCain's fellating of the Christian Right these days can plainly see the necessity of that vote.

Of course nothing exists to the rest of the nation that doesn't make it to the news. That's why Kevin Keating's Giuliani Time, due out next month, could prove to be a (truthful) Swift-Boating of the man some know as Ghoul-iani.

Jen Chung writes:

"It should be interesting to see what Middle America thinks of this, though we suspect some will be attracted to his hardline, hush-his-critics stances (one quote from Ed Koch on the Giuliani Time website: '...I, on occasion, have referred to him as Pinochet, Caligula, maybe it’s a combination of the two.') but what might be most revealing are his attitudes about the poor (subtext being minorities) - former schools chancellor Rudy Crew says, 'There's something very deeply pathological about Rudy's humanity. He was barren, completely emotionally barren, on the issue of race.'"
For an excellent look at Giuliani and the literature -- good, bad and vain -- that his reign produced, check out John Giuffo's excellent piece in The Believer. It opens:
Chances are, you don’t really know Rudolph William Louis Giuliani 3d. Despite the immense amount of coverage he has received and the books written about him, his real story has remained a local one, while his national reputation has been blown all out of proportion.
To get a complete understanding of the man, a figure around whom one of contemporary American history’s biggest cults of personality has flourished, you’ve got to dig deep. You have to burrow down under the myths, the steaming pile of post-9/11 hero-worship, the reputation-girding propaganda (like, for instance, his recent book, Leadership), the hyperventilating overstatements of his enemies—and they are legion—the obfuscation and secrecy of his administration, and, finally, the thick mulch of memory, which has its ways of being selective and making amorphous the rough bits.
And there, through all the distorting barriers to comprehension, you can glimpse the real Rudy: a willful force, driven by good intentions but eager to compromise for power, blinded by the drama of his own story, often dishonest despite his posturing to the contrary, always calculating, always at war, willing to be brutal for political ends, and equally willing to be generous and compassionate toward friends and loyalists.
(Gothamist, The Believer)

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