How to Run an Empire
By Edited by Robert F. Pecorella & Jeffrey M. Stonecash
SUNY Press, $29.95, 334 pages
New York is one of the most complex and difficult states to run in the country. It combines the largest metro region in the United States along with a large rural population as well, both with different priorities and ideas of which way the state should go. It is being pulled along in two different directions, and trying to satisfy everyone. In this latest edition, the contributors look at the many different ways that parties, bureaucracy, and cities play in shaping the politics of the Empire State. The book starts off with looking at the make-up of the Legislature and how it has functioned over time. It then details how governors have worked with the Legislature; the role of lobbyists, and other quasi government organizations. The latter half of the book looks at different sectors that the state government has a major influence in; mostly in health care and education, and how those two have changed over time.
This is an interesting book for those who like to know how state governments operate, especially in a diverse state like New York, and the role that demographics play. While it might be written for a more academic audience, a general reader will learn much.
Reviewed by Kevin Winter