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The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro

For almost half a century, Robert Moses was the single most powerful man in New York City. He shaped the city's politics as he did it physical structure. He attacked urban problems and politicians with equal delight.

Moses was an appointed official, not elected. Nevertheless he developed a political machine that brought mayors to their knees. He mobilized banks, contractors, labor unions, insurance firms, the press and even churches to get his way.

Annotation: The story of Robert Moses, who shaped the politics, the physical structure and even the problems of urban decline in New York.

 

 

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"Robert Caro's THE POWER BROKER deals with public works czar Robert Moses and the decline of New York City. It follows Moses' career from his days as a student to his work with city and state parks, where he developed beaches to the east of New York City and parkways to get traffic there (unless the vehicles included buses), to his work building bridges such as the Triborough Bridge and his ill-fated attempt to build a bridge from the Brooklyn to the Battery (and his subsequent conquest of the authority that constructed the tunnel in its place), his building of superhighways through the boroughs of New York, which leveled many a neighborhood and his running of the ill-fated 1964-65 World's Fair. The book describes his relations and battles with politicians, engineers, residents, and others. It also describes how other modes of transportation aside from the automobile, such as rapid transit and the commuter train had declined by the late 1960s, for example.

This book makes for a fascinating tale. It's no wonder that it was awarded the Pulitzer Prize. I don't know if it's been updated--it came out in 1974--but it's still fantastic reading."

--Anonymous


 

HISTORICAL INSIGHTS

Author: Robert A. Caro

Released: 1974

Awards: Pulitzer Prize

Availability: Paperback, hardback, audio cassette


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