New York State Library & Friends of the NY State Library
|Reading / Book Signing / Exhibit / Reception
June 30, 2004 (Wednesday) at 5:30 p.m.
Museum Theater, Cultural Education Center
Madison Avenue, Downtown Albany, NY
Paul Grondahl is the author most recently of the biography, I Rose Like a Rocket: The Political Education of Theodore Roosevelt. Grondahl knows New York political history, from the long-reigning machine of the Albany Democrats to the great Tammany chieftains who lorded over New York City. After working in the State Senate briefly before turning to journalism and writing about Albany politics and history for the past two decades, he knows the colorful byways and larger-than-life characters who made late nineteenth-century political life into one of the most amusing and fascinating periods in our history.
"If the boy is father to the man, then his multiple earlier lives produced the pyrotechnic presidency of Theodore Roosevelt. This evolution is insightfully demonstrated in Paul Grondahl's richly researched and compelling readable portrait of TR before the White House. Grondahl calls his work a 'political education.' It is more aptly a shrewd grasp of the interplay of the personal and the political in Roosevelt's formation. With this performance, a new talent enters the front ranks of American biography." - Joseph E. Persico
"Those who may wonder how a smallish Harvard dandy was converted by that great educational system, the New York State Legislature, into a tough political leader will be fascinated by this sparkling portrait of the indomitable young TR." - James MacGregor Burns
"Paul Grondahl describes, as only he could, how God made Teddy Roosevelt bright and bold, but it took the real and very rough politics of Albany to make him a great politician." - Mario Cuomo
Mayor Corning: Albany Icon, Albany Enigma. He conducted over 200 interviews and combed archival sources in Albany in order to write his biography of Erastus Corning the 2nd, which features an introduction by William Kennedy. Pulitzer Prize finalist Samuel G. Freedman calls the book an "engaging biography, giving us the power broker, the philanderer, the WASP elitist and all the other guises of a protean figure."
Paul Grondahl is an award-winning reporter at the Albany Times Union, where his feature articles and in-depth projects have won local, state, and national writing prizes. He has also written for a variety of publications, including The New York Times Book Review, Newsday, and numerous magazines.. He received a master's degree in English from the University at Albany and a bachelors degree from the University of the Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. He lives in Guilderland, a suburb of Albany, with his wife and two children.
Paul Grondahl was also a guest at the NYS Writers Institute on November 5, 1997.
"Grondahl captures the man, the times and the politics brilliantly in his epic, ranging, irresistibly readable biography of Albany's scion-politico. Everything you thought you knew about Mayor Corning is finally straightened out, and everything you didn't know is fully revealed. - Joseph E. Persico
Paul Grondahl Home Page|
Simon & Schuster