BOOKS: RUDY AS ALL-AMERICAN HERO - THe former NY mayor has led such a dynamic life that you wonder he doesn't wear a cape. Yet his advice is paltry, says Richard Reeves

BOOKS: RUDY AS ALL-AMERICAN HERO - THe former NY mayor has led such a dynamic life that you wonder he doesn't wear a cape. Yet his advice is paltry, says Richard Reeves - Leadership; By Rudolph Giuliani; Little Brown pounds 16.99

by RICHARD REEVES

Leadership; By Rudolph Giuliani; Little Brown pounds 16.99

Modesty is not part of the American character. But even within the US, New Yorkers are viewed as pretty full of themselves. So a New Yorker who becomes mayor of his own city is unlikely to display Gandhi-like humility. Saying all this, Rudolph Giuliani's self-absorption to the point of narcissism - if his book Leadership is any kind of gauge - is still startling. Rudy has won many admirers, especially since 9/11. But this book reveals his number one fan to be Rudy himself.

Not that he has any particular reason to be modest. He's a successful politician, twice-elected as a Republican to the mayoralty of a Democrat town. And he's had a fairly interesting life. But it's hard to forgive the packaging of an auto-hagiography as a lesson in leadership. (At least his successor, Michael Bloomberg - perhaps the only person whose ego could shade Rudy's - had the honesty to call his book Bloomberg on Bloomberg.)

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