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Ed Brodow

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Member Since: Dec, 2007

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Fiorello La Guardia and Richard III
By Ed Brodow   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Monday, December 24, 2007
Posted: Monday, December 24, 2007

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Shakespeare turned Richard III into a villain, and Ed Brodow does the same thing to Fiorello La Guardia in his novel FIxer.

Richard III was really not such a bad fellow, or so historians tell us. Shakespeare, however, turned the poor monarch into the consummate villain in order to gain favor with the reigning Tudors. In his novel, Fixer, Ed Brodow has done the same thing to Mayor Fiorello La Guardia of New York City. Fixer is the story of Harry Leonnoff, a fearless politician with a limp and a .38 who champions the city's immigrants and poor. The main antagonist in Fixer is Fiorello La Guardia, the “Little Flower” (his nickname based on the English translation of “Fiorello”). La Guardia was the first Italian-American to serve in Congress and, with the possible exception of Peter Stuyvesant, the most famous of all New York City mayors. His three-term tenure as mayor (1934-1945) is notable for two primary reasons: he all but destroyed Tammany Hall, the corrupt Democratic political machine that ruled the city for a hundred years, and he built public housing, bridges, tunnels, hospitals and other public works that brought New York into the modern era. One of New York’s airports and a Broadway show (Fiorello) were named after him. But research has revealed Fiorello's dark side. He was defensive, combative, vindictive, sensitive to criticism, and insensitive to the feelings of others. Brodow uses this aspect of Fiorello's character as a counterpoint to Harry Leonnoff. Fiorello loses a political battle to Harry, and sets Harry up on phony ethics charges. The ensuing struggle, complicated by the interference of another character in the novel, Curly Murphy, makes for an exciting climax to Fixer. Find out more about these fascinating characters at 

Web Site: Fixer: A Novel by Ed Brodow

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Reviewed by Z McClure 1/29/2008
I usually read mostly non-fiction works, but when I stumbled upon your article "Fiorello La Guardia and Richard III", you made me want to read "FIXER". I especially liked the way you compared how Shakespeare turning Richard the III into a villain and how you did the same for Fiorello in your novel. I could get a handle on your book in seconds, and knew right away I have to read it. I just hope someday I can right articles this well.

A soon-to-be reader, Zach

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