Carey Institute books

"Three Men in a Room: The Inside Story of Power and Betrayal in an American Statehouse," by Seymour P. Lachman and Robert Polner, was the book that launched Wagner College's Hugh L. Carey Institute for Government Reform. Published in September 2006, "Three Men in a Room" is an insider's exposé of how one of the country's largest and most powerful state governments -- with the fourth-largest budget, behind only the federal government, California and Texas -- has become a model of corrupt, inefficient and undemocratic governance. Lachman ran the New York City Board of Education and taught political science before being elected to the New York state senate. What he found when he arrived in Albany was a Potemkin village of government where legislators voted on bills they hadn't read during legislative sessions they hadn't attended. After four terms, Lachman left his safe senate seat in disgust and, with journalist Robert Polner, wrote this sharp, mordant and impassioned call for reform. CLICK HERE for more about "Three Men in a Room" on the book's Amazon.com web page.


"The Man Who Saved New York: Hugh Carey and the Great Fiscal Crisis of 1975," by Seymour P. Lachman and Robert Polner, is the latest product of Wagner College's Carey Institute for Government Reform. It was published in July 2010 by the SUNY Press, Albany.

It was principally Carey’s leadership, Lachman and Polner argue in "The Man Who Saved New York," that helped rescue the city and state from the brink of financial and civic catastrophe in 1975.

“This is the definitive account of New York’s fiscal crisis, of its hero Governor Hugh Carey, and of one of the most significant and absorbing episodes in the history of local and state government in this country," says Peter Goldmark, former New York State Budget Director, "plus, it is timely because New York and a handful of other states stand once more on the brink of bankruptcy.”

“We would do well to learn from this account of New York’s fiscal crisis in the 1970s," says New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch.

For more information,visit the "Man Who Saved New York" Web page.


Mr.NYC"Mr. New York: Lew Rudin and his Love for the City," by Seymour P. Lachman, with a foreword by President Bill Clinton
Published by SUNY Press Excelsior Editions
Download the first chapter of “Mr. New York” in PDF form

“Mr. New York” is the story of the life and times of Lew Rudin, an instrumental figure in New York City’s recovery from the fiscal and social crises of the 1970s and 1980s, and in the general revitalization of the city over two generations.

Lew Rudin was one of New York City’s most influential power brokers in the latter part of the twentieth century, but he was also one of its most indefatigable boosters. Born in the Throgs Neck section of the Bronx on April 4, 1927, Rudin rose to become cochairman, with his brother, Jack, of one of New York’s oldest real estate dynasties, Rudin Management. It is for his civic involvement, however, that he is best remembered. Whether helping to get the New York City Marathon off the ground, or rallying corporate and labor leaders to come to the city’s aid during the fiscal crises of the 1970s, Rudin worked tirelessly on behalf of the city he loved. The Association for a Better New York, which he founded in 1971 in response to growing concerns about the city’s decline, continues to play a vital role in virtually every area of municipal life, from transportation to education.

In Mr. New York, Seymour P. Lachman chronicles Rudin’s life and interesting times, and his love affair with the city he never ceased to believe in. Drawing on published materials as well as personal interviews with family members, business associates, and federal, state, and city officials, Lachman paints a portrait of a man who, by the time of his death in 2001, had truly earned the nickname “Mr. New York.”

To read or watch the news stories below about “Mr. New York,” click on the date for each item:

  • Jan. 31, 2014 — Staten Island Advance — “Civic Hero Who Flew Under the Radar” — Advance political editor Tom Wrobleski lauded the new biography by Seymour Lachman, “Mr. New York: Lew Rudin and his Love for the City.”
  • Feb. 12, 2014 — WNYW-TV — The hosts of the New York Fox affiliate’s morning program interviewed Bill Rudin about Seymour Lachman’s new biography of his father, the late Lew Rudin.
  • Feb. 12, 2014 — WNYW-TV (Fox) — The local Fox TV station aired an interview on its morning program, “Good Day N.Y.,” with real estate developer Bill Rudin about a book recently published by Wagner College Carey Institute Dean Seymour Lachman about Rudin’s father, “Mr. New York: Lew Rudin and His Love for the City.”
  • Feb. 15, 2014 — New York 1 — On New York 1’s “New York Times Closeup” program, Sam Roberts also interviewed Bill Rudin about Seymour Lachman’s new book.
  • March 21, 2014 — CUNY-TV — The “Eldridge & Co.” program on the City University of New York cable TV channel aired an interview by former NYC councilwoman Ronnie Eldridge with Seymour Lachman about his new biography of Lew Rudin.
  • April 2, 2014 — Commercial Property Executive — A news story in this industry online newsletter described a seminar at Baruch College that focused on Seymour Lachman’s new biography of Lew Rudin.