Robert Moses was a legendary mover and shaker who left his incredible imprint on so much of what continues to be the basic infrastructure of New York City, even decades after his passing. How it all went down is a fascinating story of vision, determination, and chutzpah: engrossing, infuriating, awe-inspiring. He was the man who Got Things Done, caring little about who or what stood in his way as long as he got his way. But creating grand projects in large urban areas inevitably means that previous structures must come down, and countless lives will be impacted. This man whose legend was that of the man who served "the people, " actually seemed to care very little for the individual, and even less if they were the wrong color. Meticulously detailed, this Pulitzer-prize winning work shows us how an idealistic young man morphed into an indomitable giant who ruled for four decades, only to be ultimately undone by his own ruthless methods.
Extraordinary in every respect. Generations of city planners, myself very much included, have read and re-read every word in an attempt to understand how Moses accomplished so much--and fell so far. Suffice to say such a towering figure will probably never again appear in city-building. Caro develops the story in almost-impossible detail, and we understand the rare confluence of context, potentials, timing, ambition, political savvy, and unbridled ruthlessness which were required to create the Power Broker.
A thought provoking book, Robert Caro's historically accurate exploration of Robert Moses who ripped apart neighborhood after neighborhood and used New York City as a canvas for some of the most ridiculous highway projects in the country. What started out as an idealistic vision became vengeful towards the very population he was serving.
Quite simply this is one of the best books I have ever read in my life. A real life story that is gripping and compulsive reading. Caro has mastery of the all the details, and none of them were boring, even his descriptions of how municipal bonds work. A virtual Shakespearean tragedy, it is sad to see Robert Moses go from a good government reformer to the worst kind of autocratic bureaucrat, one that has affected drastically the lives of all New Yorkers, whether or not they own a car.
A brilliant, brilliant book. You should read this!
An excellent, well-written, long read. Am anxious to read the second half.
A fascinating study of vision, acquired power, and ruthlessness.
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