If someone had told you 25 years ago that a socialist/ex-hippie from Brooklyn via Vermont would come within inches of securing the Democratic nomination for president, that the radical child of Weather Underground terrorists would become District Attorney of San Francisco, and that a red-diaper baby who proclaimed “there’s plenty of money in the city—it’s just in the wrong hands” would become mayor of New York, you would have thought that prophesier crazy.

But we are living in a different political world today. In New York City, after eight years of Republican Rudy Giuliani and 12 years of neo-liberal technocrat Mike Bloomberg, voters put left-wing Democrat Bill de Blasio in City Hall. Under Giuliani and Bloomberg, New York witnessed a historic transformation as crime plummeted, tourists returned, and the city’s population grew by more than 800,000 between 1990 and 2010. Concerns about gentrification, economic inequality, and police brutality had increased by the end of Bloomberg’s last term, but overall de Blasio inherited a well-run, functioning city.

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In The Last Days of New York, Seth Barron provides a grim, unsparing chronicle of Bill de Blasio’s eight years as mayor. A reporter who has written for the New York Post and City Journal, and is now managing editor

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