Robert Slayton is the Henry Salvatori Professor of American Values and Traditions at the Department of History, Chapman University. Empire Statesman, his biography of Alfred E. Smith, 1928 presidential candidate and the first Roman Catholic to run for the nation's highest office was endorsed by Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Caro, who called it “vivid and insightful”; while Hasia Diner, holder of the Steinberg Chair at New York University, referred to it as an “exemplary biographical narrative.” It has been reviewed in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and in The New Yorker; the listing on Smith in Wikipedia cites Empire Statesman as the standard biographical work on this figure. He is the author of eight books, including Back of the Yards (University of Chicago Press), New Homeless and Old (Temple University Press), and Master of the Air (University of Alabama Press). Back of the Yards got chosen by Choice, the library journal, as one of its “Outstanding Books” of that year, while New Homeless was awarded Honorable Mention for the Paul Davidoff Award by the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning. His articles have appeared in Commentary, New Mobility, and Salon, and in newspapers including The New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Orange County Register.
An Empire of Missed Opportunities
Mario Cuomo is a promising subject for a biography, but this slim book fails to get him either as a politician or a person, says our reviewer....