While serving as a liberal member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York from 1969 to 1977, Edward I. Koch developed a close friendship with an ideological soul mate, Representative Abner Mikva of Illinois, who went on to become a federal judge and White House counsel under President Bill Clinton.
In the 1980s, after serving three terms as mayor of New York and having moved away from his liberal roots, Koch wrote a breezy tell-all memoir, "Mayor." Mikva also published a book in that period, a treatise on Congress and the law, "The American Congress, the First Branch."
Mikva recalled that he ran into his old friend and teased him about the shallowness of "Mayor," which was a best-seller.
Koch's reply: "How many copies did your book sell, Ab?"
Koch went on to tell Mikva that there were plans afoot to make a movie based on the book. No movie has yet been made, though the book was turned into a musical, "Mayor," which opened off-Broadway in 1985.
(Albert R. Hunt is a Bloomberg View columnist. Follow him on Twitter.)
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