... an excellent introduction not only to the man’s tenure as mayor but also to his rise as a Wall Street trader, technology innovator and media magnate (and, less remarkably, his post-mayoralty). Had he run for president this year, the book would have found a place on every political junkie’s shelf ... Brisk and engaging, The Many Lives is more journalistic than novelistic. Randolph prefers covering policy to building suspense or exploring character ... Randolph doesn’t hold back from discussing Bloomberg’s failures.
... a well-sourced, informative and breezy biography of one New York’s greatest mayors. Indeed, it is an essential read in an era where high-end urban centers and their immediate environs are pulling away from the rest of the country. It is a tale of two Americas ... Randolph succeeds in describing Bloomberg’s successes, which are many, lasting and significant. But she comes up short in capturing the distance between him and large swathes of the citizenry. She records but does not fully delve into the cultural fissures that pockmarked the New York landscape throughout Bloomberg’s time in office and became all too clear at its conclusion ... can come close to hagiography.
... admiring but not sugarcoated ... Randolph’s respectful but clear-eyed profile unearths a complex, prickly personality beneath Bloomberg’s uncharismatic surface, perceiving in his 'dreary monotone' the 'nasal voice of New York City.' The result is a vivid, timely study of Bloomberg’s brand of plutocracy.