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Fighting for the City: A History of the New York City Corporation Counsel

  • ID: 2132032
  • Book
  • January 2008
  • Region: North America, United States
  • 380 Pages
  • ALM Media, LLC
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On the basis of the themes set out in the Introduction, Fighting for the City traces the history of New York City's Law Department and its predecessor office, the Recorder, from 1686 to the present. In addition to examining the growth of the Law Department into an entity of nearly 700 attorneys, Fighting for the City traces the tension in the office between politics and professionalism. It finds that, when the city has been struggling to enhance its competitive position, professionalism has been in control. In contrast, until the modern era, when New York has enjoyed economic dominance, especially during the nineteenth century, politics and connections have tended to take over.
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1. New York's Recorder 1686-1801

2. Creating the Office of Corporation Counsel 1801-1875

3. Creating the Law Department 1875-1898

4. The Law Department in Greater New York 1898-1917

5. Towards a New Deal 1918-1933

6. LaGuardia Reform 1934-1945

7. Postponing the Reckoning 1946-1965

8. The Noble Experiment and Its Failure 1965-1977

9. Reviving the City and Reconstructing the Law Department 1978-1986

10. Reconstructing City Government: Campaign Finance, the New Charter, and Term Limits 1986-1993

11. Epilogue 1994-2006

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William E. Nelson

William E. Nelson is the Edward Weinfeld Professor of Law at New York University. He is the author of ten books, including studies of the history of bureaucracy, The Roots of American Bureaucracy, 1830-1900, and of New York legal history, The Legalist Reformation: Law, Politics, and Ideology in New York, 1920-1980.
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