Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings: A Life in Construction

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Macmillan, Mar 13, 2012 - Biography & Autobiography - 342 pages
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Good Guys, Wiseguys, and Putting Up Buildings is an engaging memoir about one man's career in construction--rising to the top of an industry renowned for crime, corruption, violence, physical danger, and the chronic risk of financial catastrophe.

Starting in the Navy Seabees at the end of WWII, Samuel C. Florman made his way as a general contractor in New York City through the period of explosive development, private exuberance and the historic growth of publicly supported housing--all amidst the rise of the notorious Mafia families,
and evolution of the Civil Rights Movement. His storied career brought him into contact with a variety of personalities: politicians and civil servants, developers and technocrats, saintly do-gooders and corrupt rapscallions. Along with the rousing adventures there were satisfactions of a different sort:
the enchantment of seeing architecture made real; the pride of creating housing, hospitals, schools, places of worship--shelter for the body and nourishment for the spirit.

 

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Contents

Explorations
23
The Stupendous Builder
35
Nice Guys Finish Last
49
A New Beginning Treacherous Tides and a Bit of Luck
61
Dollars and Cents
79
Deus ex Machina
93
A Happy Family
107
Extended Family
115
La Cosa Nostra
183
Corruption
205
Affirmative Action
223
The Women
247
Danger
261
911
279
The Job from Hell
290
And a Happy Ending of Course
307

Friends
123
They Say Its Who You Know
131
Architects and Technocrats
149
Developers
165
Acknowledgments
323
12
329
18
336
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Samuel C. Florman is the chairman of Kreisler Borg Florman General Construction Company. He has published six books and over 250 articles and has written numerous reviews for The New York Times Book Review. He has spoken at many engineering schools and discussed professional topics on television and radio.

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