The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York ☆ [PDF / Epub] ★ The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York By Robert A. Caro ✩ – Centrumpowypadkowe.co.uk One of the most acclaimed books of our time, winner of both the Pulitzer and the Francis Parkman prizes, The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping and mis shaping of twentieth century One of the most acclaimed books of our Broker: Robert MOBI ☆ time, winner of both the Pulitzer and the Francis Parkman prizes, The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping and mis shaping of twentieth century New York city and state and makes public what few have known that Robert Moses was, for almost half a century, the single most powerful man of our time in New York, the shaper not only of the city s politics but of its physical structure and the problems of urban decline that plague us todayIn revealing how Moses did it how The Power PDF or he developed his public authorities into a political machine that was virtually a fourth branch of government, one that could bring to their knees Governors and Mayors from La Guardia to Lindsay by mobilizing banks, contractors, labor unions, insurance firms, even the press and the Church, into an irresistible economic force Robert Caro reveals how power works in all the cities of the United States Moses built an empire and lived like an emperor He personally conceived and completed public works costingbillion dollars the greatest builder America and probably the world has ever known Without ever having been Power Broker: Robert Kindle Ï elected to office, he dominated the men who were even his most bitter enemy, Franklin D Roosevelt, could not control him until he finally encountered, in Nelson Rockefeller, the only man whose power and ruthlessness in wielding it equalled his own.


About the Author: Robert A. Caro

A former investigative reporter for Newsday, Robert Caro Broker: Robert MOBI ☆ is the author of The Power Broker , a biography of the urban planner Robert Moses which he won the Pulitzer Prize President Obama said that he read the biography when he was years old and that the book mesmerized him Obama said, I m sure it helped to shape how I think about politics Caro has also written four biographies on Lyndon Johnson, including The Path to Power , Means of Ascent , and Master of the Senate , and The Passage The Power PDF or of Power , which won the National Book Critics Circle Award He is currently at work on a fifth and final volume about Lyndon Johnson.



10 thoughts on “The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

  1. Jessica Jessica says:

    This is definitely the greatest book that I have ever read.Midway through adolescence, I began wondering a bit which life event would finally make me feel like an adult Of course I had the usual teenaged hypotheses, and acted accordingly to test some of them out Getting drunk Having sex Driving a car Going to college None of these things did make me feel grownup in many instances, their effect was the opposite I had a brief thrilling moment of maturity when I voted for the first time at This is definitely the greatest book that I have ever read.Midway through adolescence, I began wondering a bit which life event would finally make me feel like an adult Of course I had the usual teenaged hypotheses, and acted accordingly to test some of them out Getting drunk Having sex Driving a car Going to college None of these things did make me feel grownup in many instances, their effect was the opposite I had a brief thrilling moment of maturity when I voted for the first time at age eighteen, but election returns in the years since in particular the 2004 presidential race dulled the sophisticated glamour of the ballot box, forcing me to admit that an ability to vote does not indicate the presence of intellectual maturity The first time I got a job with benefits and sat through a presentation explaining the HMO plan, life insurance, and 401K, I did feel old in a certain kind of way, but there was a sense of the absurd to it, as if I were in drag as an adult, staggering around in my mother s too big high heels and smudgy lipstick in a silly effort to look like a grown woman.For the past few years I ve had the sense of wearing an oversized grownup life that wasn t actually mine, while that magical rite of passage into adulthood continued to elude me Maybe when I have children things will click into place, I ve mused, listening to Talking Heads with one ear and sort of doubting it Part of this might be generational if thirty is the new twenty, it s no wonder that I get that Lost Boys feeling, and shrug confusedly when overnight company makes fun of my teddy bear.I m pleased to announce that thanks to the glory of Robert Caro, this stage is basically behind me Having finally finished The Power Broker, I feel muchlike a grownup, and believe it or not, I m pretty into that.When I was a little kid, I felt that the adults around me had a thick, rich, complicated understanding of the way the world worked They knew things facts, history and they understood processes and people and the way something like a bond measure or a public authority worked It was this understanding which they had, and I didn t that made me a child, and them adults Grownups had an infrastructure of information, truth, and insight that I lacked As I grew older, I was dismayed to discover that grownups really didn t know a fraction of what I gave them credit for, and that most of the people ostensibly running the world had no clue how it operated, and my intense disillusionment caused me to lose sight of that adulthood theory for awhile.But reading this book made me feel like a grownup because it helped me to understand the way the world works as I never had before This book is about power It is about politics It is a history of New York City and New York State It is an explanation of how public works projects are built It is about money public money, private money, and the vast and nasty grey areas where they overlap This book is about democracy, and the lack thereof It is about social policy, and economics, and our government, and the press This book is about urban planning, housing, transportation, and about how a few individuals decisions can affect the lives of the masses It helped explain traffic in the park, and the projects in Brownsville, and a billion other mysteries of New York City life that I d wondered about The Power Broker is about ideals, talent, and institutional racism It is about inequality It is about genius It is about hubris It is the best goddamn book I have ever read in my entire life, hands down, seriously.Please do not think that it took me five months to read this book because it was dense or slow This was a savoring, rather than a trudging, situation Robert Caro is an incredibly engaging writer One thing that happened to me early on from reading this was that I lost my taste for trashy celebrity gossip Who CARES about Britney s breakdown or, for that matter, Spitzer s prostitute peccadilloes when I could be reading about the shocking intricacies of Robert Moses 1925 legislative consolidation and reorganization of New York State s administrative structure This book gave me chills CHILLS on nearly every page with descriptions of arcane political maneuvering and fiscal policy so riveting that I lost my previous interest in reading about sex and drugs Let s face it sex and drugs are pretty boring Political graft, mechanics of influence, the workings of government now that s the hot stuff, when it s presented in an accessible and digestible form Nothing in the world isfascinating than power, and Robert Caro writes about power better than anyone I ve come across There are no dry chapters in this book there s barely a dull page It is infinitelyreadable than Us magazine, and not muchdifficult.Of course The Power Broker is many things, among them a biography While any one portrait of New York power icons from Al Smith to Nelson Rockefeller isthan worth the price of admission, this book is primarily about Robert Moses Caro understands and explains the relationship between individual personalities and systems One of his main theses is that Moses achieved the unchecked and unparalleled levels of power he did because he figured out how to reshape or create systems around himself The Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority would not have existed without Robert Moses, and Robert Moses would not have been what he was, or accomplished what he did, without the brilliance he had for shaping the very structure of government into conduits for his own purposes To explain this, Caro needs to convey a profound understanding not only of how these systems worked, but of who this man was He does so, and the result goes beyond Shakespearean it is Epic The Power Broker is the story George Lucas was trying to tell about Anakin Skywalker s transformation to Darth Vader, only George Lucas is no Robert Caro, and The Power Broker succeeds wildly in the places where Star Wars was just a hack job of course, Caro wasn t handicapped by Hadyn Christensen, which does indirectly raise the burning question WHO S OPTIONED THIS.Robert Moses was an incredible genius He was also an incredible asshole Robert Moses was probably one of the biggest assholes who ever lived, or at least, who ever got free reign to redesign a major modern American city to his fancy One of the innumerable triumphs of this book is that while it certainly does demonize Moses to a great extent, it doesn t seem to do so unjustifiably, and it never strips him of his humanity Caro conveys a deep respect and empathy for his brilliant subject, even as he also expresses horror, disgust, and rage as he describes Moses forty four year unelected reign of power.I know it s a mistake to do this review right after finishing, and I m a bit grossed out that I could write something so gushingly uncritical that s unlike me, and it s possible that later I ll think of some complaints I might not, though I really do think that this is the best book I ve ever read, and I wish there were some way that I could adopt Robert and Ina Caro as my grandparents, and that I could go over to their house for Sunday dinner and then take walks together in Central Park Right at this moment I believe that Robert Caro is the smartest person in the world, and I m not in the least bit resentful that I m going to have to devote the rest of my life to reading his LBJ doorstoppers in fact, I welcome it though I m not in a huge hurry to start.Oh, I m sure this book has flaws like any other My main problem with it was that it was too short Caro did not go into nearly enough detail about a large number of issues that I d expected to learn about For instance, there was littlethan offhand mentions of Moses upstate projects I was surprised that there was virtually nothing in here about Niagara Falls There was also almost nothing on Shea Stadium, and while they did keep coming up, I never felt adequately informed about Moses plans for the three crosstown expressways, and the successful opposition to them How real a prospect were these, and what did the public fight look like I wasn t so clear on that While it s possible that Caro had nothing interesting to say about these projects, it slikely that he had to draw the line somewhere, and 1162 pages was that place I mean, otherwise he probably could ve gone on forever There s a lot to say.I definitely recommend that anyone who reads this book do as I did, and divide it with an exacto knife into four duct tape bound commuter volumes It s fun to draw your own Power Broker covers on your personalized editions, and a good excuse to pull out those crayons which, as a bona fide adult, you so rarely use It occurs to me that I ve babbled on forever but still haven t explained at all what this book is about If you think you might want to read it but you re not sure, check out this article by Robert Caro has those stupid New Yorker dots, which the book thankfully does not, but otherwise is kind of like a miniaturized version of The Power Broker and gives a much better sense than I just did of what it s all about


  2. Matt Matt says:

    As the families drove, they could see on either side of them, through gates set in stone walls or through the openings in wooden fences, the beautiful meadows they had come for, stretching endlessly and emptily to the cool trees beyond But the meadows and trees were not for them The gates would be locked and men carrying shotguns and holding fierce dogs on straining leashes would point eastward, telling the families there were parks open to them farther along There was no shade on Northern As the families drove, they could see on either side of them, through gates set in stone walls or through the openings in wooden fences, the beautiful meadows they had come for, stretching endlessly and emptily to the cool trees beyond But the meadows and trees were not for them The gates would be locked and men carrying shotguns and holding fierce dogs on straining leashes would point eastward, telling the families there were parks open to them farther along There was no shade on Northern Boulevard and the children became cranky early In desperation, ignoring the NO TRESPASSING PRIVATE PROPERTY signs that lined the road, fathers would turn onto the narrow strip of grass between the boulevard and the wall paralleling it and, despite the dust and the fumes from the passing cars, would try to picnic there But there guards were vigilant and it was never long until the fathers had to tell the kids to get back into the car Later, in Oyster Bay Town and Huntington, they would come to parks, tiny but nonetheless parks, but as they approached them they would see policemen at their entrances and the policemen would wave them on, explaining that they were reserved for township residents There were, the policemen shouted, parks open further along Robert Caro, The Power BrokerAt nearly 1,200 pages of text not including endnotes and the index , Robert Caro s The Power Broker is a huge book Despite its uniformly excellent quality its Pulitzer Prize is well deserved I felt every single one of those pages More than that, my back started feeling the strain of hauling this around The problem is not quality Not even close The quality here is unparalleled The reason, at least partly, is that this is not the typical biography I am used to reading Usually, if I m going to plow through a thousand pages oron a person s life, that life has to be on par with Napoleon This is not about Napoleon, by the way Rather, the subject of Caro s intense focus is Robert Moses.Moses was not a president or national leader, a battlefield general, a religious figure, or a world historical mover and shaker Moses was never elected to public office or explored an unexplored region or climbed a mountain or mapped a river or wrestled a shark He never held his breath forthan a minute or invented a new fitness routine He did not set world records for eating hot dogs on the Fourth of July He did not win the Boston Marathon, the Super Bowl, or the World Cup No, Robert Moses s immediate impact was purely local And even though that locality happened to be New York City one of the greatest cities in the world he is still rather an unknown, unless you are a student of urban planning His legacy was building parks and expressways He is remembered as the man who shaped and according to Caro destroyed at least for a time New York City But he wasn t even an architect or an engineer Rather, Robert Moses was that most interesting species of mankind a bureaucrat.That s right Robert Caro s The Power Broker is a 1,200 page tome on the life of the ultimate functionary You want red tape You want zoning rules You want arcane statutes You want to learn everything you need to know about the semi public, semi private nature of City Authorities You ve got them If you are a normal person, you ve already stopped reading But that s not my intent Because The Power Broker isthan Robert Moses It s the story of a city.Still, Caro begins and ends with the man So who was he Well, he s a little like Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation, except also a terrible racist That, at least, is the short version But this is Robert Caro, so strap in for the long version Robert Moses did not begin how he ended In the start, as Caro shows, the young Moses was a reformer and an idealist Born into modest wealth, he attended Yale and Oxford and studied city planning When he returned to New York City from overseas, he took a job trying to fix the City s patronage system Though he made little money and had little power, he was tireless and undaunted and dedicated All in all, he seemed a good sort The kind out to change the world for the better That all ends around page 200 Moses s talents were recognized by Belle Moskowitz, an advisor to eventual New York Governor Al Smith Moses goes to Albany where he attains a talent for drafting legislation He uses that talent to craft laws creating Commissions with extremely powerful Commissioners And then he got himself appointed to those Commissions The rest is a very long book Not surprisingly for a man thousands of pages deep into a multi volume Lyndon Johnson biography, Caro is obsessed with the attainment and use of power To that end, he structures the The Power Broke like a three act play, highlighting Moses s rise to power, his exercise of power, and his loss of power I d like to explain what that all means inspecific terms, but frankly, I can t Explaining Moses s career literally takes 1,200 pages Oh, what the heck I ll give it a try In the simplest terms, Moses used his various Commissionerships, imbued with authority that he wrote into the laws himself, to undertake massive public projects, such as Jones Beach and the Long Island Expressways In the beginning, these projects were hugely popular with the public With the populace and the newspapers behind him, Moses felt comfortable taking bigger risks and funding bigger projects And no one could stop him Due to the staggered terms of these various posts, Moses found himself able to leverage his authority in such a way that he outlasted dozens of mayors and governors, none of whom could afford to anger him From the 1920s to 1968, Moses reigned supreme as the shaper of New York City His vision of New York City became the vision of New York City He drove expressways through neighborhoods he built bridges and roads rather than subways he ran the Triborough Authority like an emperor, chauffeured about in a black limousine He wasn t a crook and he never used his power to enrich himself For him, the power was the juice though of course he certainly enriched hundreds and thousands of others at taxpayer expense Part of the reason why this book took me so long to read what that I had to spend so much time with Moses It can be a drag Unlike Caro s other biographical subject, Lyndon Johnson, Moses never used his power for a greater good He had no Great Society Instead, Moses becomes a worse human with each turn of the page In the beginning, at least, as State Park Commissioner, Moses actually worked for the common man, breaking the grip on Long Island of the wealthy estate owners As time went on, however, Moses lost all compassion for ordinary folk lost all compassion whatsoever He seemed to exercise power only for the sake of power He did things because he had it in his mind to do them To be sure, Caro s achievement and Moses s achievements need to be separated I don t want to give the impression that I didn t like The Power Broker simply because Robert Moses was an enormous ass That s not the case To the contrary, The Power Broker may be the best one volume biography I ve ever read There are so many superlatives, I don t know where to begin Let s start with the fundamentals the quality of the writing Caro is a great writer I don t know how to put it better than that He writes with elegance, he writes with clarity, and he structures his sentences and his paragraphs in such a way as to heighten the dramatic effect Caro packs in so much detail, without confusing the reader, that I got exhausted imagining the effort it took to maintain this style His writing is helped by his sensitivity he manages to find and inject humanity into his subjects Moses was a jerk, but a human one Caro also is a master of context, giving the supporting characters as much depth as the lead actor I also loved Caro s literary set pieces In most books, if there s a problem to be solved by the protagonist, the author would simply say here s the problem Caro is too imaginative for that He does an amazing job describing the paradigm in Robert Moses created his public works For instance, early in the book, Caro describes Moses s attempts to create public beaches on Long Island taking you the reader on an imagine car ride that shows you every mile of the trip, illustrating the difficulties of a middle class family attempting to get to a Long Island beach in the 1930s This is where the opening excerpt came from Later in the book, when Moses is trying to plow under a neighborhood for one of his expressways, Caro tries to show you what that meant for the people who lived in the bulldozer s path Instead of giving you cold hard facts the number of people, the number of apartments, the basic demographics Caro devotes an entire chapter to one square mile slated to be destroyed He interviews the residents, describes their lives, and tells of their ill fated fight against Moses This case study is an incredibly effective way to personalize the stakes between Moses the Builder and the People This dovetails with my next point Caro can explain anything And he can explain it in an interesting way, making you care about stuff such as bureaucratic enabling laws and public authorities that you never thought you d be interested in He imbues this arcane field with as much excitement as is possible which is obviously relative , and is careful and methodical in relating the complex interactions that gave Moses his power Finally, Caro is a great researcher He conducted hundreds of interviews, including hard to get face time with Moses himself This was no small thing, especially in 1975, when this book was published At that time, Moses was still alive, and his cronies, the Moses Men, were a tight lipped group Indeed, while The Power Broker is now a historical artifact, it was once as much an expos as a traditional biography It was Caro who helped strip away the Moses myth and show how much destruction he d wrought I wasn t alive to see New York in the 70s, after Moses strangled it with concrete and steel Judging it solely based on the film The Warriors, it wasn t a great place One of the few problems I had with The Power Broker is that Caro didn t have enough room He crammed all his research into this one volume work, instead of giving the story space to breathe as he s doing with Lyndon Johnson As such, there s a lot of scrimping of certain aspects of Moses s life For instance, the farther along you get, the less you hear about his family life, such as it was I, for one, would ve enjoyedelaboration on the string of mistresses Moses kept More importantly, there s no Jane Jacobs Jacobs was an activist and author The Death and Life of Great American Cities who Caro once said, outside this book was the only person to ever beat Moses, when she helped stop his Lower Manhattan Expressway At one point, Caro had an entire chapter on Jacobs Then, at the behest of the editor, this was removed Now there s not a single mention of Jacobs in 1,200 pages The other issue is the constant time shifting Caro doesn t follow a strictly chronological approach Instead, his method istheme based For example, Caro will devote an entire chapter to a single public works project, while excluding reference to all the other things going on at that time This can be a good thing for the reader, as it adds these dramatic mini narratives within the book s overall arc However, the result is that you might move forward several decades within a single chapter, only to be thrust back in time when a new chapter begins The bottom line is that you need to pay close attention I spent much of The Power Broker loathing the petty brutishness of Robert Moses Part of the reason I wanted the Jane Jacobs chapter reinstalled was because I wanted to see Moses get his butt kicked That never happens in this book Caro writes that Moses lost his power, but I don t see it that way Moses never got beat he simply got old And it s a testament to Caro s skills and fairness that by the end, as Moses saw his name start to fade, you actually feel a bit of sympathy for the guy Like all great builders, Moses strove for immortality However, by the end of his own life, he must have realized that he d written his name upon the sand Most people today don t know him, and I m fine with that, because it would have pissed Moses off So just forget I ever mentioned him


  3. BlackOxford BlackOxford says:

    Before Trump There Was MosesWant to understand the politics and the reasons why NYC is the way it is Read it and weep.Robert Moses was never elected to public office Yet his power over public finance and social decision making was greater than that of any elected official, including at times the President of the United States His nemesis, however, was the president s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was also unelected to anything but just as crafty.Moses created his power by creating the laws wh Before Trump There Was MosesWant to understand the politics and the reasons why NYC is the way it is Read it and weep.Robert Moses was never elected to public office Yet his power over public finance and social decision making was greater than that of any elected official, including at times the President of the United States His nemesis, however, was the president s wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, who was also unelected to anything but just as crafty.Moses created his power by creating the laws which New York State politicians passed without reading or understanding the fine print He effectively institutionalised himself as, among other posts, the Chairman of the Long Island State Parks Commission, and the head of the Triborough Bridge Authority These positions, thanks to his foresightful design, were immune to political review.At the LISPC, he single handedly designed the expansion of the New York City suburbs from the 1930 s onward as totally dependent on the automobile and in such a way that would limit racial integration At the Triborough Bridge Authority, he created a spectacularly successful cash cow whose funds could not be touched without his approval And even the 1970 s financial collapse of the City was not enough to attract this approval.Yet other administrative positions, often held simultaneously in the City and the State, gave Moses blanket control of every significant planning and planning variance decision within the City His tentacles of power extended even to the Northern reaches of the State through his control of electricity generation along the St Lawrence River.There is no evidence that Moses ever took a bribe or benefitted financially from his immense power He started his career and pursued it as an idealist He was nonetheless a dictator who routinely destroyed neighbourhoods, regularly flouted the law, coerced politicians of both major parties, and ultimately left a legacy of social devastation which will last for decades if not centuries.Caro s documentation of Moses s strategy and activities is unparalleled His attention to detail and nuance is acute His judgments and conclusions are never precipitous and always subtle This book should be on the required reading list of every course in democratic government in every country on the planet


  4. Jan-Maat Jan-Maat says:

    This is a book about powerAnd parks.For forty four years Robert Moses through the control of different institutions, often whose formal authorities he had designed and drafted into legislation, created a power base that enabled him to escape the constraints laid upon bureaucrats and elected officials and to stamp his vision upon the developing city of New York If the Bonfire of the Vanities is the shock book of 1980s New York then The Power Broker Robert Moses and the Fall of New York tells This is a book about powerAnd parks.For forty four years Robert Moses through the control of different institutions, often whose formal authorities he had designed and drafted into legislation, created a power base that enabled him to escape the constraints laid upon bureaucrats and elected officials and to stamp his vision upon the developing city of New York If the Bonfire of the Vanities is the shock book of 1980s New York then The Power Broker Robert Moses and the Fall of New York tells the story of some of the factors that made the city that way.Robert Moses was energetic, ambitious, hugely gifted but deeply arrogant, a bully, and prejudiced Initially enthusiastic for public service reform to break the power of Tammany Hall over New York politics and government and from a prosperous German Jewish background involved in charitable works, he became view spoiler or perhaps always was, in waiting hide spoiler a master of manipulation, building support through public relations, disbursing jobs and patronage, keeping files on public figures and carrying out revenge with a thoroughness that makes burying a rival in the foundations of a building seem amateur and unimaginative.Mayors and governors were successively seduced by his ability to complete massive public works before the following election but also successively learnt that his power base made him virtually invulnerable Moses vision was of sweeping roads, bridges and parks His work reshaped the city Unfortunately his vision was of a New York designed to be middle class and white Roads and bridges in some cases were designed to be suitable for cars only and were deliberately set to low to allow buses to pass under them Attempts to provide mass transit links either to the parks or the World s Fair or even to allow for the possibility of others providing such links in the future were explicitly blocked or prevented through design His ideal for Long Island in particular was striking to be a suburban area of low density housing with no industry.The outcome of all this was a city congested with car traffic which in turn necessitated the early adoption of multi storey car parks Neighbourhoods with all their existing networks of employment and local commerce were broken up and either degenerated into slums or were replaced with higher cost housing The massive building projects swallowed up city, state and federal funds to the extent that there was not even the money available for the maintenance of the new parks let alone for non Moses approved transport development However since a key source of Moses power was the money raised from toll bridges it was a situation that at least worked to the advantage of one man.The giant swimming pools that Moses had built in New York show the workings of his mind to both good and ill On the one hand he and his team developed new systems of underwater lighting and the system of disinfecting foot baths that are ubiquitous in public swimming pools today At the same time because he believed that black people prefer to swim in warm water he had the temperatures of certain pools kept low and to further discourage non whites from swimming would only employ white staff the same policies were also used at his beach developments and parks to signal the type of users who would be welcomed, and it is striking to observe the application of careful intelligence to the business of purely being nasty to groups of people he would never come into contact with At the same time the financial drain on the city from paying for these public amenities which through management and placement were targeted at white middle class users meant that spending on schools and hospitals was inadequate.As befitted a man educated at Yale and Oxford he didn t offer patronage in the obvious Tammany Hall method of jobs with inflated salaries with the city but in a subtle way This included cut price concessions, advance information about road building plans, consultancy jobs, lavish entertainments, long term relationships with banks and even effectively creating a bank run by a leading member of the New York Democratic party Thomas Shanahan by depositing large sums of money with him at zero percent interest and obliging contractors he worked with to bank with Shanahan Cronies had businesses created for them to manage the relocation of people dispossessed by building works, in turn sub businesses were created to drain out money, for example by buying the fixed appliances in apartments for a nominal sum and leasing them back to the main company for sums which were not nominal The main company itself would be funded by the city to manage the relocation process, while dispossessed residents were largely left to fend for themselves.Essentially Robert Moses became an Augustus and created step by step an Empire for himself The legislation that he had drafted protected him, almost totally, from political interference Toll incomes and increasing car traffic allowed him to raise enormous sums on the money markets Massive building works provided masses of patronage to disburse Association with public parks view spoiler although not all the parks were fit for purpose, Caro describes one as a mass of concrete set in a traffic island, accessible only by car hide spoiler won him widespread support and the mistaken impression that he had the public s interests at heart and was opposed to the vested interests, whose interest was entirely vested in Moses until he was finally deposed An arrogant man, the one time he stood for election he managed to lose the support of the press by insulting them at his first press conference and managed to speak against the particular local concerns of voters where ever he was on the campaign trail.This is a book about the realities of power It is full of politicking, intrigues, machinations, deals, law making, the importance of effective law drafting, the exploitation of the naive, dealings with politicians and interest groups alike Also power over the environment, marshes drained, rivers bridged, moved and channelled, beaches created, land created It is virtually a history of New York in the middle of the 20th century as seen through the work of one man The paperback edition is 1.7 kilos of fascinating, audacious and breath taking undertakings few of which were ever tainted with legality as Moses himself liked to say I was drawn to reading this after reading a review of a volume of Caro s Johnson biography, a massive multi volume biography of President Johnson was a commitment I was prepared to make but this seemed an approachable alternative that wouldn t require reinforcing the bookshelves


  5. Brian Brian says:

    In early 2012 on a business trip to NYC, I was driving on Long Island Expressway for the first time when an odd and seemingly unnecessary bend in the road got my curiousity Searching for the answer later in the day brought me to Robert Moses, which then brought me to this book, and as much as I loved this behemoth, I m still trying to figure out if I m in a better place viz a viz humanity for having read it.Want to read a good horror book Forget the kings of the genre in fiction, Caro has serv In early 2012 on a business trip to NYC, I was driving on Long Island Expressway for the first time when an odd and seemingly unnecessary bend in the road got my curiousity Searching for the answer later in the day brought me to Robert Moses, which then brought me to this book, and as much as I loved this behemoth, I m still trying to figure out if I m in a better place viz a viz humanity for having read it.Want to read a good horror book Forget the kings of the genre in fiction, Caro has served up a page turning, real life horror story with a haunting over millions of people that could conceivably last forever I love New York City, and theI read of this masterpiece, theI found myself needing to walk away from the book sometimes for weeks at a time to deal with the subject matter Moses wasn t just a Grade A Asshole, he was the Antichrist of Architecture How is it even possible that in the 20th century, in one of the greatest cities in the world, that one man could garner so much power and then weild it for 40 years Yes, I know, American politics and American politicians are a mess as they are everywhere arond the world where power is to be had , but 40 YEARS Chapter after chapter of amazingly researched and detailed depictions of Moses s malfeasance makes the reader shake his her head and wonder how this could possibly have happened And then you visit the places that Moses ruined, sit in the traffic that is a direct by product of his lack of vision, and you realize that the Horror of the book is something that we get to live for countless generations.Can I recommend this book I can, but with a caveat The truth in the pages won t set you free At best it will break your heart, at its worst you will wonder with the advances of science and the prolongation of life what is going to happen one day when the really, really evil bastards of this world get to live to be 200 Can we survive that


  6. Matt Matt says:

    I am neither an urban planner, nor a New Yorker With that cleared up, I can attempt to review this epic biography by Robert A Caro, which has garnered a great deal of hype over the past 40 years Caro takes the entire life of this man and puts it out for review, letting nothing escape his descriptive powers though the book is a mere 1200 of the original 3000 pages Caro prepared The book is so thorough and complex that the reader must digest a great deal of information to move through the se I am neither an urban planner, nor a New Yorker With that cleared up, I can attempt to review this epic biography by Robert A Caro, which has garnered a great deal of hype over the past 40 years Caro takes the entire life of this man and puts it out for review, letting nothing escape his descriptive powers though the book is a mere 1200 of the original 3000 pages Caro prepared The book is so thorough and complex that the reader must digest a great deal of information to move through the sections and absorb all that is on offer Caro depicts the life of Robert Moses as being quite multi faceted a staunchly matriarchal home, joyful playground developer, power hungry Parks Commissioner, villain to many Filled with numerous sources and a plethora of interview comments, Caro describes this vastly powerful man who changed New York City, quite literally, into the urban powerhouse of the United States Caro s three themes discussed below emanate throughout the text Moses hunger for power, his ability to gain it without election, and the complete about face done by New Yorkers over the decades because of that power These themes keep the pace of the book moving and ensure the reader pays attention, to see the apparent changes as the chapters and events in time progress.Moses hunger for power could be said to have been planted in a home run by his mother, who accepted no other opinion but her own Caro lays the groundwork for Moses eventual insatiable need for control at her feet, indirectly A benign search for power by Robert Moses begins upon his returns from Oxford, with the hopes of building new parks for the people of New York, especially children who have no playgrounds on which to spend their time This morphs into a lust for larger parks and the development of edifices that will leave an indelible mark on the city as a whole Caro exemplifies this early malignant power intoxication through the creation of the Central Park Zoo, his numerous bridge projects, as well as the construction of the UN buildings This hunger is not sated there, as Moses continues to forge ahead with expressways to better deal with the increased traffic the 1940s and 50s bring with it, caring little for those in whose way his grand ideas sit Caro portrays Moses as one who becomes deeply inebriated on power and who eventually loses touch with those he, originally, sought to help He wants to leave his mark on the city and uses his backhand connections to get the needed in to do so He outwardly circumnavigates those in his way even elected officials by writing and forcing legislation to pass the New York Legislature that gives him quasi deist control of New York city AND state , to do with what he will Caro is clear, however, to include those men who stand in his way, including the one man withpower than he and no interest in ceding it, Nelson Rockefeller It was Rockefeller s emergence on the political scene and saw the end of Moses power Add to that the horrible 1964 World Fair presidency, as well as Mayor John Lindsay, and you can already hear the nails slamming into the coffin.Caro also depicts the Moses power addiction as one run entirely from the backrooms and within arm s length of the election box Save for a single run for Governor of New York, Moses never had to face the people to seek their permission for his ideas He cozied up to mayors and governors into whom he created yes men or disposed of those who tried to thwart him with his numerous other connections Legislation penned from his desk came to the floor of the State Legislature and was pushed through with some ease, leaving it only to be signed by a governor here and there Until FDR came onto the scene first as Governor of New York and then as President of the United States , Moses had an easy cake walk Caro denotes how Moses dodges many bullets and used his connections in media and various arms of the political realm to continue forging ahead and getting his ideas approved A true schemer who saw no issue with sidestepping the democratic process, yet tossed out communist epithets against his opponents, to blackball them during the highly McCarthy esque era in America.Caro s greatest feat has got to be the radical change in public opinion he demonstrated From chanting school children loving Robert Moses to the hatred by all New Yorkers by the mid 1950s, Moses was left to dodge fists, bottles, and anything else that could be thrown Caro is sure to include some of the key turnarounds in the book Schoolchildren, as mentioned above, are but one group who came to vilify him Mothers with babies, who, in the early chapters, adore him for creating parks and playgrounds complete with diaper huts turn on him as he decides to bulldoze those parks down 30 years later to create a parking lot The poor, who cheered on the creation of open space for them, free of charge, became his greatest obstacle when he needed to destroy their homes to create expressways Caro is masterful at simply telling the tale and letting the reader make the connections.Caro s missive is so detailed that it makes sense why this project was years in the making It uses the vast amount of information at Caro s fingertips to lay out the story and lets the reader decide what they wish about the entire story on offer That said, there is no doubt that any reader who takes the time to read the book will come away with at least some sour taste in their mouth for all Moses did in New York City Caro throws no punches and does not apologise for what his research discovered The book added fuel to the already strong fire of dislike surrounding Robert Moses in 1974 It is not hard to understand why this is the case.The book s length may be its own downside, although I did not feel things dragged on too unnecessarily The reader may, stuck in a quagmire of verbose explanation, wonder why we care so much about a certain issue Having patience to forge ahead and connect the eventual dots leads to that ah ha moment where previous glassy eyed reading is worth the outcome.Having read all that Caro has penned already in the LBJ saga, I am well versed in the format and style used in the biographies I thoroughly enjoy this, even with long and complex missives with hours of detail on many subjects It is only through this detailed analysis that the reader can truly come to see the duplicitous nature of Moses The latter part of the book shows just how racist and how completely out of touch Moses became with the people he tried to help in his early years Caro s presentation of this about face is stunning and leaves the interested reader to wonder where things went wrong Alas, the details are woven through hundreds of pages that it is difficult to pinpoint the precise location of this change.There is too much for the casual reader to digest in this, and likely any Caro book, biography I would not recommend its undertaking by anyone who does not have a strong thirst for knowledge or someone looking for a quick read Then again, the mere size of the book or length of its audio version will scare many away However, those who are intrigued by political and urban histories will surely devour all this book offers Caro is the master storyteller and can bring many stories to life with his detailed descriptions as well as his highly researched perspectives A must read for those who marvel at the intricacies of New York City s traffic edifices and green spaces.Kudos in high order, Mr Caro, for this your first work It shows your attention to detail and interest in a thorough analysis for all to interpret You have outdone yourself for sure


  7. Roy Lotz Roy Lotz says:

    Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East to know who built them For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them who were above such trifling. Henry David Thoreau Who s Robert Moses I asked my brother, after he bought this bookTo drive from my house to the city, you need to take the Saw Mill Parkway across the Henry Hudson Bridge onto the Henry Hudson Parkway Those roads, and that bridge, were built under the direction of Robert Moses If you hav Many are concerned about the monuments of the West and the East to know who built them For my part, I should like to know who in those days did not build them who were above such trifling. Henry David Thoreau Who s Robert Moses I asked my brother, after he bought this bookTo drive from my house to the city, you need to take the Saw Mill Parkway across the Henry Hudson Bridge onto the Henry Hudson Parkway Those roads, and that bridge, were built under the direction of Robert Moses If you have a flight to catch, you take the Hutchinson Parkway across the Whitestone Bridge to the Whitestone Expressway, which takes you the JFK airport these, too, are Moses constructions To get from my house to my old university in Long Island, you can take Bronx River Parkway, which links up with the Cross Bronx Expressway then cross over the Throgs Neck Bridge onto the Long Island Expressway or the Northern State Parkway and that bridge, and every one of those highways, is a Moses project.Who was Robert Moses He had formed the world around me Robert Moses was the most decisive figure in shaping 20th century New York But what was his job In his forty four years as a public servant from 1924 to 1968 Moses came to hold twelve titles simultaneously He was the New York City Park Commissioner, with control over the city s parks and parkways he was the Long Island State Park Commissioner, with control over all the parks and public beaches on Long Island he was the chairman of the Triborough Bridge Authority, with near total autonomy from the city or state government He was the chairman of the New York Power Authority, the chairman of the State Council of Parks, and the head of Title I, which oversaw all the public housing in New York City and this is not to mention his membership on the City Planning Commission and the City Youth Board and his eventual title as the City Construction Coordinator, which gave him control over nearly all public works in the city.Robert Moses was a master builder He built hundreds of miles of parkways and expressways he opened hundreds of parks and playgrounds he built some of the biggest bridges and tunnels and dams the world had ever seen In the process, Moses displaced hundreds of thousands of people, condemning and demolishing their homes, and tearing the hearts out of old neighborhoods How did he build so many things, acquire so many titles, move so many people How, in other words, did he get and hold onto so much power This is the central question of Robert Caro s biography And I can t give you an idea of Caro s biography, or why it is so incredible, without giving you an idea of Robert Moses The old adage about power and corruption is repeated so often, in such different contexts, that it can sound stale and meaningless Moses s story gives meaning to the adage and qualification He began his career as an idealist and a reformer he was an opponent of nepotism, graft, and privilege Moses s first major effort was to institute civil service exams and strict pay scales that would serve as checks on government inefficiency and corruption This effort failed utterly, defeated by the forces Moses hoped to check, leaving him out of a job After that, Moses learned to change his tactics He stopped being an uncompromising idealist and started working with the forces he had once hoped to subdue with his ideas And once he began to use the tactics of his erstwhile enemies, his prodigious intelligence and drive allowed him to master every force in his way.Thepower he gained, thehe wanted, and theadept he became at getting it One strategy was legislative He was very crafty at drafting bills, sneaking through obscure clauses that extended his reach His first master stroke was to give himself, as the Long Island Park Commissioner, power to condemn virtually any piece of land he chose to for his parkways Later, he managed to pass a bill that allowed him to simultaneously hold city and state government posts Later still, he wrote the legislation authorizing the creation of the Triborough Bridge Authority, an entity with so much power and wealth that it was essentially a separate government, unelected by the people and unaccountable to and uncontrollable by the city or state governments.He used underhanded tactics to build his parks and roads and bridges To get the approval he needed from government boards, he would give extremely low estimates for the construction projects and then, when the money ran out when the project was half complete, no politician could refuse himmoney, since that would require leaving a road or a bridge embarrassingly incomplete He used scare tactics to speed eviction of buildings, telling tenants that demolition was imminent and they needed to vacate immediately, when in reality demolition was months away To outmaneuver opposition to his projects, he would wait until his opponents were asleep and then bulldoze and jackhammer in the night destroying dockyards, apartments, old monuments rendering all acts of defiance pointless Moses was a master organizer He learned to use the selfish interest of the major power players in the city to accomplish his own ends The unions and construction companies loved him because he provided work on a massive scale The banks were eager to invest in the safe and high yield Triborough bonds and Moses rewarded the banks by depositing his massive cash reserves into their coffers Cooperative lawyers received lavish rewards as payment, hidden through third parties and carefully disguised as fees and emoluments In everything, Moses prized loyalty and doled out money, commissions, and jobs based on how much power was at stake He also forged a close relationship with the press by throwing lavish parties and befriending many newspaper owners and publishers His carefully cultivated public image as a selfless public servant who Got Stuff Done made him an asset to politicians when they worked with him, and a major liability if they antagonized him And thepower he gained, theuncompromising he became He surrounded himself with yes men he called them his muchachos, and others called them Moses Men who never criticized, or even questioned, what Moses said He would refuse calls from mayors and governors He did not go to council meetings and sent delegates to City Hall rather than go himself Once he had planned the route of a road, he wouldn t even consider changing it not for protests or activists or local politicians he wouldn t divert his road one mile or even half a mile If you opposed him once, he would use all his connections and resources in government, construction, law, and finance to ruin you He ruined his own brother s career this way He kept files on hand full of compromising information that he would use to threaten anyone who dared oppose him, and during the Red Scare he freely accused his enemies of being closet communists and if that didn t work, he would accuse their families.Summed up like this, Moses seems to be a classic case of a man corrupted by power He went from a hero, fighting on behalf of the citizens to create public parks, struggling to reform an inefficient and corrupt government, to a villain bullying, blackmailing, evicting, bulldozing, handing out graft However, as Caro is careful to note, power did not so much corrupt Moses, turning him from pure hearted to rotten, as allow certain elements of his personality free play, unhampered by consequences The most prominent of these elements was his monumental arrogance There are not many clips of Moses online, but the few there are give some idea of Moses s egotism He was uninterested in others ideas and perspectives, and could hardly deign to explain his own thinking He spoke about the removal of thousands of people in a tone of utter boredom, as if the families he was moving were less important than gnats.Compounding his arrogance, Moses was an elitist and a racist He built hundreds of playgrounds in New York City, but only one in Harlem He kept the pools in his parks cold, in the odd belief that this would keep black residents away He built exclusively for the car owning middle class, draining resources away from public transportation, even encouraging subway fare hikes to finance his projects He made no provisions for trains or buses on his roads, and refused even to build his highways in such a way that, in the future, they could be easily modified to include a railway It would, for example, have cost only a few million to do this while the highway to JFK was under construction, keeping a few feet in the center clear for the tracks But because Moses didn t do this, the railway to JFK, when it was finally built, had to be elevated high up above the highway and it cost almost two billion dollars.Moses was also a workaholic He worked ten , twelve , fifteen hour days He worked on vacations and on weekends, and he expected his subordinates to do the same Politically, Moses was a conservative Ironically, however, Moses was a key figure in the implementation of the progressive New Deal policies of FDR who was Moses s arch enemy, as it happens Also ironic was Moses s adoption of progressive, modernist urban planning principles His ideal of the city was, in its essentials, no different from that outlined by the Swiss French architect Le Corbusier, who was certainly no conservative an orderly city of parks, high rise apartments, and highways, with no messy downtown areas and no ordinary streets for pedestrians to stroll about But perhaps the most ironic fact in Moses s life is that this most fervent believer in the automobile, this builder of highways and bridges, never learned to drive He spent his life getting chauffeured around in a limousine that he had converted into an office, so he could work and hold meetings on the go.Now if you re like me, you may think there is something obviously wrong with a racist and elitist planning housing for poor people of color There is something wrong with a man who couldn t drive planning highways for an entire state There is something wrong with a workaholic who was never home planning homes something wrong with a lover of the suburbs organizing a city There is something wrong with a man who was never elected wieldingpower than mayors and governors There is something wrong with a man who was scornful of others, especially the lower class, being allowed to evict thousands from their homes There is something wrong with a man who did not care about other perspectives and philosophies, who never changed his mind or altered his opinions, wielding power for over four decades Really, the whole thing seems like a recipe for disaster, doesn t it And, indeed, many came to see Moses s policies as disasters Caro certainly did Moses thought that his legacy would speak for itself, that his works would guarantee him immortal gratitude Rather, Moses s name came to be synonymous with everything wrong with urban planning Sterile public housing that bred crime and hopelessness ugly highways that cut through neighborhoods and flooded the city with cars top down implementation that didn t take into consideration the needs and habits of residents cities that had superhighways but lacked basic, affordable public transportation Even the harshest critic, however, must admit that Moses did some good That both the city and the state of New York have such an excellent network of parks is in no small measure due to Moses And if his highways were hopelessly congested when Caro wrote this book in the 70s, nowadays they work quite well, perhaps because they ve since been supplemented by better public transportation.While the value of his legacy is at least debatable, the injustice of his tactics is not Moses was extremely fond of saying that You can t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs For him, the ends always justified the means If a few people maybe a great many people would be inconvenienced or hurt by his projects, future generations would thank him But I think his story is an excellent example of why this type of thinking is dangerous, since it allowed him and his followers to trample over the lives of thousands, destroying houses and neighborhoods, treating those in his way with neither respect or dignity, for the sake of the common good It allowed him, in other words, to be a tyrant in good conscience And the reason he was able to do this and get away with it was because, as an appointed official, his power did not derive from the public something intolerable in a democracy And yet, as Caro points out, Moses does illustrate a conundrum at the heart of a democratic government Moses tried to achieve his dreams through the normal channels of government, and failed utterly It was only when Moses started circumventing the usual rules that he was able to accomplish anything And I think anyone who has ever tried to make a group decision whether at work or with friends can appreciate how enormously inefficient democracies can be Moses was unjust, but he was efficient That s a major reason why no mayor or governor dared fire him while other officials were mired in red tape and board meetings, waiting for approval, allocating funds, holding public hearings, Moses was plowing through and building his works As he was fond of saying, he Got Stuff Done His record of achievement made him, for a time, into a political asset and a public hero.Here is the democratic conundrum in a nutshell Quick decisions require unilateral power This is why the Roman senate appointed dictators in times of trouble But just decisions require a legal framework, open debate, and the people s approval a slow and often painful process And as the story of Caesar shows, it is a risky matter to grant unilateral power temporarily Power, once granted, is difficult to take away and power, once concentrated into one area, tends to keep on concentrating.But the major lesson about power I learned from this book is that power is particular and personal This is why this book is so eye opening and shocking Before reading this, my operating assumption was that power derived from rules and roles You were elected to a position with a clearly delineated scope and legally limited options Each position came with its own responsibilities and jurisdiction, unambiguously defined in black and white by a constitution or a law Yet Moses s story illustrates the opposite principle The scope of a role is defined by who holds it the power of the position is derived from the ingenuity of the individual Everything comes down to the personality of the man usually a man, then as now in charge, his philosophy, his force of will, his cunning, his intelligence, as well as the personality of the people he has to deal with Circumstances play a role too Success or failure depends on the individual s ability to take advantage of any opportunity that arises Power is not embodied in an eternal set of rules but rather in an ever changing set of particular circumstances.Here s just one example Moses thought that his power over the Triborough Authority was inviolable, because he had made contracts with his investors, and contracts are protected by the United States Constitution But when Nelson Rockefeller, the governor, wanted to merge the Triborough into the Metropolitan Transit Authority a clear violation of the bond contracts Moses couldn t stop him, since the banks were represented by Chase, which was owned by Nelson Rockefeller s brother who wouldn t take the matter to court In other words, because of the particular circumstances the family relationship between the governor and the bank the most sacred rule of all, the Constitution, was broken and Moses was defeated And the reason this happened was not due to any regulation it came down to the incompatibility of Moses s and Nelson Rockefeller s personalities.I have written an enormous review, and yet I still think I have not done justice to this enormous book Caro weaves so much into this story It is not simply a biography of Robert Moses, but a treatise on power, government, and city planning, a history of New York City and New York State Robert Caro is an excellent writer dramatic, sweeping, and capable of weaving so many disparate threads and layers and levels together into one coherent narrative The one virtue he lacks is brevity This book is long arguably it is unnecessarily long, full of peripheral details and sidenotes and rhetorical passages But its length is what makes The Power Broker so engrossing It isabsorbing than a fantasy novel, pulling you completely into its world For three weeks I lived inside its pages.I loved this book so much, and learned so much from reading it, that it seems peevish to offer criticisms I will only say that Caro is clearly hostile to Moses and perhaps is not entirely fair He is an extraordinary writer, but uses repetition as a rhetorical device a bit too much for my tastes Also, despite this book s huge scope and length, there are some curious omissions Particularly, Jane Jacobs s conflicts with Moses which have become somewhat legendary, even the subject of a recent opera are not covered Jacobs, who articulated many of the intellectual criticisms of Moses s approach, isn t even mentioned.All these are mere quibbles of a book that totally reconfigured my vision of power and government I recommend it to anyone And if you re from New York, it is obligatory


  8. Nancy Nancy says:

    Can a book be both endlessly enthralling and gratuitously tedious simultaneously Apparently, it can.They say that biographers identify with their subject, and Robert Caro was not untouched by the megalomania that drove Robert Moses The worst problem was his tendency to belabor his points, as if his readers were slightly dim and couldn t be trusted to get a point the first time, or remember it How many times should it be necessary to say that the West Side Highway would cut off New Yorkers ac Can a book be both endlessly enthralling and gratuitously tedious simultaneously Apparently, it can.They say that biographers identify with their subject, and Robert Caro was not untouched by the megalomania that drove Robert Moses The worst problem was his tendency to belabor his points, as if his readers were slightly dim and couldn t be trusted to get a point the first time, or remember it How many times should it be necessary to say that the West Side Highway would cut off New Yorkers access to the Hudson forever The repetition of his points about Moses and power, how he got it, maintained it, and exercised it, was mind numbing It extended to little things, too Numbers in the hundreds of millions don t have to be carried out to the last dollar Lists of playgrounds, roads, buildings, and so forth were stultifying Even when Homer does it, my eye glances it over it, and Caro s not quite Homer and since I was listening and not reading, I had to hear every single last one It was unconscionable in a book clocking over 1300 pages Megalomania Moses would have understood, even as he raged over the analysis That out of the way, as the ratings and reviews attest, this was engrossing and a testimony to Caro s research and ability to write a story that kept drawing you on There s nothing for me to add For anyone with an interest in New York, urban planning and development, the sociology of power, or the nature of evil, it s a mandatory, if lengthy, read It took me two months to listen to it


  9. Christy Christy says:

    Moses was a horrifying example of the idea of progress gone stupid and taking advantage of a Manifest Destiny like philosophy of urbanization His tactics in NY and so many other cities severed people from each other with scalpel looking to exacerbate class divisions So despicable that he deliberately build bridges too low to accommodate the city busses so that so the poor and especially the Blacks couldn t go out to the Long Island beaches He advocated for a White only area of Stuyvesant, Moses was a horrifying example of the idea of progress gone stupid and taking advantage of a Manifest Destiny like philosophy of urbanization His tactics in NY and so many other cities severed people from each other with scalpel looking to exacerbate class divisions So despicable that he deliberately build bridges too low to accommodate the city busses so that so the poor and especially the Blacks couldn t go out to the Long Island beaches He advocated for a White only area of Stuyvesant, and tried all kinds of sleazy legal maneuvers in the courts to do what he wanted with New York neighborhoods The part about Moses and Roosevelt is quite telling I read this a long time ago, but reviewed it and got angry about it again after I learned that in The Trumps Three Generations That Built an Empire the corrupt business dealings between Moses and Fred Trump father of Don the Con President Elect are detailed Their shady dealings included claims of quid pro quo over land and development deals with one where Trump took a powerful role on a city council to make decisions to help Moses and Trump helped get Moses appointed as the president of the World s Fair


  10. Susan O Susan O says:

    Brilliant I really don t know what to say about this book It s monumental, brilliantly written and strangely enthralling I would never have believed that a book about parks, highways, and bridges, many, many, of each, would be so interesting Of course they all revolve around Robert Moses, who is fascinating and also despicable He is however, an example of how to amass power, and how to use it, for better and for worse Caro is a brilliant writer This is the 4th of his 5 published works tha Brilliant I really don t know what to say about this book It s monumental, brilliantly written and strangely enthralling I would never have believed that a book about parks, highways, and bridges, many, many, of each, would be so interesting Of course they all revolve around Robert Moses, who is fascinating and also despicable He is however, an example of how to amass power, and how to use it, for better and for worse Caro is a brilliant writer This is the 4th of his 5 published works that I have read and he is still my favorite non fiction writer The book is very long and quite an undertaking, so is probably not for everyone But if you are a history lover I highly recommend it If you are interested specifically in the history of NYC, then this is a necessity for understanding the growth and decay of the city in the 20th century


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