Siegel, Frederick F. 1945–

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Siegel, Frederick F. 1945–

(Fred Siegel, Frederick Fein Siegel)

PERSONAL: Born March 27, 1945, in New York, NY; son of Albert Israel (an engineer) and Selma (a housewife and office manager; maiden name, Fein) Siegel; married Jan Rosenberg (a sociologist), June, 1975; children: Harry, Jake. Education: Rutgers University, B.A., 1967; received M.A. in 1970; University of Pittsburgh, Ph.D., 1978. Religion: Jewish.

ADDRESSES: Home—225 Argyle Rd., Brooklyn, NY. Office—Department of Humanities, Cooper Union, Cooper Sq., New York, NY 11215. Agent—Sandra E. Hardy, Box 1173, Radio City Station, New York, NY 10101.

CAREER: Writer, educator, and historian. Labor Center, State University of New York at Manhattan, professor of labor studies, 1974–80; Queens College of the City University of New York, Flushing, professor of communications, 1981–82; University of Paris, Sorbonne, Paris, France, visiting professor of American history, 1982–83; Cooper Union, New York City, visiting professor of humanities, 1983–84, associate professor, 1984–. Has taught at Columbia College and Empire State College. Member of executive board, Central Brooklyn Independent Democrats.

AWARDS, HONORS: Institute for Advanced Study fellow, 1989–90; Mellon fellow; National Endowment for the Humanities fellow; Progressive Policy Institute senior fellow.

WRITINGS:

Troubled Journey: From Pearl Harbor to Ronald Reagan, Hill & Wang (New York, NY), 1984.

The Roots of Southern Distinctiveness: Tobacco and Society in Danville, Virginia, 1790–1865, University of North Carolina Press (Chapel Hill, NC), 1987.

The Future Once Happened Here: New York, D.C., L.A., and the Fate of America's Big Cities, Free Press (New York, NY), 1997.

(With Harry Siegel) The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life, Encounter Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.

Contributor to periodicals, including Commonweal, Atlantic, Dissent, New Democrat, Partisan Review, and New Republic. Author of column for New York Post. Editor of Urban Society; former editor, City Journal; member of editorial board, Dissent.

SIDELIGHTS: Writer, educator, and historian Frederick F. Siegel is the author of several books focusing on social and political issues. In The FutureOnce Happened Here: New York, D.C., L.A., and the Fate of America's Big Cities, for example, Siegel considers the economic, social, and political stresses that have affected three of America's larger cities. Tense relations between city dwellers and city leaders, along with uncorrected problems such as continuing poverty and racism, have contributed to the decline of cities all across the country. Despite the ongoing problems, Siegel offers a note of optimism that large urban areas appear ready to revive themselves and improve conditions.

In The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life, Siegel narrows his focus and offers a biography of the New York City mayor whose legacy was assured by his ability to confront and improve the city's condition, and who strode definitively into history in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center. Siegel "reminds us that not only is there much more to Rudy Giuliani than 9/11, but the former mayor's actions on that horrible day were no mere fluke," noted reviewer Vincent J. Cannato in the Weekly Standard.

As mayor of New York, Giuliani faced the daily reality of those problems that affect the largest of urban centers. As an administrator, however, Giuliani was responsible for numerous changes and reforms that revitalized a city that was considered to be in decline. Rather than look for outside assistance from the federal level, Giuliani instituted his changes from within, Cannato noted. He made the city fiscally stronger by reducing the deficit and eliminating some unnecessary payroll. He reduced the number of citizens on the welfare rolls and emphasized the merits of work. In collaboration with noted police commissioner Bill Bratton, he substantially reduced crime in New York and re-established public order. Perhaps most notably, he served as a source of discipline and inspiration within the city after the terrorist attacks of 9/11. On the other hand, Siegel makes it plain that Giuliani was not a miracle worker, that his successes were not achieved alone, and that numerous problems still exist within New York. "While all success contains a measure of luck, Giuliani did far more than just show up, and deserves the credit for producing results that matched his rhetoric," Cannato stated. For Siegel, Giuliani's achievements "should be a model for all large cities," noted a reviewer in Reference & Research Book News. Cannato called Prince of the City "a compelling work of political biography and urban history."

Siegel told CA: "I enjoy speaking to and with academic and community groups on American politics and society."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

New York Times Book Review, September 30, 1984, J.C. Furnas, review of Troubled Journey: From Pearl Harbor to Ronald Reagan, p. 34.

Reference & Research Book News, August, 2005, review of The Prince of the City: Giuliani, New York, and the Genius of American Life, p. 71.

Weekly Standard, July 25, 2005, "Follow a Leader: Rudy Giuliani Proved That New York Can Be Governed," review of The Prince of the City, p. 27.

ONLINE

Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art Web site, http://www.cooper.edu/ (January 1, 2006), biography of Frederick F. Siegel.