That is the question millions of Americans have asked about this once-beloved leader. Andrew Kirtzman, who has been following Giuliani since the 1990s, answers that question in this fascinating biography.
Giuliani was hailed after 9/11 as “America’s Mayor,” a singular figure who at the time was more widely admired than the pope. He was brilliant, accomplished—and complicated. He conflated politics with morality and caused his own downfall with a series of disastrous decisions and cynical compromises. He made reckless personal choices and engaged in self-destructive behavior. His need for power, money, and attention gradually ruined his reputation, cost him friendships, and ultimately damaged the country.
Kirtzman, who was with Giuliani at the World Trade Center on 9/11, conducted hundreds of interviews to write this insightful portrait of this polarizing figure, from the beginning of his rise to his ruinous role as Donald Trump’s personal lawyer. Giuliani was a celebrated prosecutor, a transformative New York City mayor, and a contender for the presidency. But by the end of the Trump presidency, he was reviled and ridiculed after a series of embarrassing errors. He was a major figure in both of Trump’s impeachments, and ended up widely ostracized, in legal jeopardy, and facing financial ruin.
This is the remarkable story of how it all began and how it came crashing down.
About the Author
Andrew Kirtzman has covered Rudy Giuliani for three decades as a political reporter for print and television. He began as a City Hall reporter and then wrote what is considered a definitive book about Giuliani’s mayoralty. He was with Giuliani on the morning of September 11th, and chronicled their experience together. He has covered more than a dozen national political campaigns, and hosted two of New York’s most widely watched political shows, winning multiple Emmy Awards. He has written for TheNew York Times, The Washington Post, The New Republic, and other publications, and authored a book about the Bernie Madoff scandal. He appears regularly on CNN and MSNBC to discuss politics and government.
“Cuts through the myth and caricature that has too often defined Giuliani. . . . As a former television reporter for NY1, Kirtzman knows the man better than the pundits who have often scratched their heads about the Giuliani they thought they knew. . . . If Giuliani’s story is a tragedy, Kirtzman argues that it’s self-inflicted through a combination of alcohol, sanctimony and a bottomless need for attention.” — Chris Megerian
“Masterful and engrossing. . . . Capture[s] what made the man tick and what led to his fall from grace. Kirtzman’s critique is leavened with bittersweet impressions and references to Giuliani’s accomplishments.” — Lloyd Green
"A lively new biography explores how the man once celebrated as 'America’s mayor' fell into disgrace." — Louis Menand
"The same 'fanatical sense of righteousness' that propelled Rudy Giuliani’s rise set him on the road to ruin, according to this richly detailed biography. . . . A comprehensive and alarming portrait of Giuliani’s downfall." — Publishers Weekly
"With a cinematic made-for-TV sense of scene and pacing, gossipy insider revelations, and sharp analysis, Kirtzman vibrantly depicts the sad and tawdry unraveling of Giuliani’s reputation." — Booklist (starred review)
"A veteran political reporter ventures an answer to the question so many have asked in recent years about Rudy Giuliani: 'What happened?'. . . . A sad tale, expertly told, of corruption, bad judgment, avarice, and treason." — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)