New York at Mid-Century traces the rise of the city's Italian Americans from turn-of-the-century peripheral positions to center stage in politics by 1950, when the electorate was called upon to choose among three Italian-born mayoral candidates--Vincent Impellitteri, Ferdinand Pecora, and Edward Corsi. Their designation to run for mayor reflected a clear ethnic calculation in the Americans of Italian descent, who had emerged as the city's largest nationality group. Impellitteri's victory as the first independent to win the city mayoralty without the support of a major party was a historic political development. His stewardship over the nation's most important city occurred at a time when New York wrestled with issues of international import, as it became the headquarters of the United Nations. It was a time of mounting pressure on municipal governments struggling to meet demands for increased services with limited financial resources. It was a time also of searing city-based scandals. This volume recounts how an immigrant, a shoemaker's son, dealt with these myriad problems and helped transform New York during a critical historical period.