I became interested in urban politics while taking courses with David Caputo at Purdue University and with Bernard Ross and Wayne Hoffman at American University. I was fortunate to be a graduate student studying urban politics at the time of the New York City fiscal crisis. At that point, my study of urban politics and New York City politics became nearly synonymous. Teaching and living in New York City for three decades further strengthened my New York City chauvinism, both socially and scholarly.
I am greatly indebted to Fordham University and its Office of Research for providing me with the necessary release time to conduct the research for and initial writing of the manuscript. I have been assisted in this work by my colleagues at Fordham. Paul Kantor reviewed several early chapters of the manuscript and his comments were invaluable. David Lawrence also reviewed the introductory chapter and supplied helpful comments. Rich Fleisher and Jeff Cohen provided bibliographic help for the chapters on the city council and mayor, respectively. Jeanne Flavin provided editorial guidance with the manuscript prospectus. At Fordham, I was also aided by a group of graduate and undergraduate assistants including Alyssa Lugg, Samantha Lindsay, Joe Messina, and Nathan Powell. They provided research, bibliographic, and editorial assistance.
At Rutgers University Press, I am grateful to Marlie Wasserman for her decision to support the project, and Marilyn Campbell deserves thanks for her pre-publication assistance with formatting.
I am probably most indebted to my family. Throughout the project, they were a source of encouragement, criticism, and distraction. They also provided very substantive assistance as well. Jake Berg read the first draft of the first chapter and provided very positive feedback. Toward the end of the project, Jonah Berg provided technical assistance that saved a great deal of time in formatting the manuscript to the publisher's specifications. Finally, my wife, Abbey, proofread the manuscript, asked appropriate questions, and provided encouragement throughout the project.