Books: The Saga of Sympathy Jim

I'D Do IT AGAIN (372 pp.)—James Michael Curley—Prentice-Hall ($4.95).

In The Last Hurrah, Author Edwin O'Connor's thinly disguised 1956 novel-biography of Boston's former perennial mayor, one of the bedside visitors says unctuously: "Knowing what he knows now, if he had it all to do over again, there's not the slightest doubt but that he'd do it all very, very differently." Whereupon the dying politico opens a "challenging eye and croaks: "The hell I would!"

In his autobiography, James Michael Curley, 82, echoes his defiance. His own story is at once a better and a...

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