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

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Vintage Books, 1975 - Biography & Autobiography - 1246 pages
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 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 today.

In revealing how Moses did it--how 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 costing 27 billion dollars--the greatest builder America (and probably the world) has ever known. Without ever having been 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.

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User Review  - waldhaus1 - LibraryThing

Although long, especially when listened to as an audio book it was a rewarding read. There are many lessons - not the least of which is that Robert Moses was very smart and focused. He also made ... Read full review

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User Review  - breic - LibraryThing

An epic story of Robert Moses's career spent transforming the New York area, especially in parks, bridges, roads and housing. Moses built on an incredible scale. Certainly he made terrible ... Read full review

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About the author (1975)

Robert Allan Caro was born October 30, 1935 in New York. He went to Princeton University, where he majored in English and became managing editor of The Daily Princetonian. Caro began his professional career as a reporter with the New Brunswick Daily Home News. He took a brief leave to work for the Middlesex County Democratic Party as a publicist. He went on to six years as an investigative reporter with the Long Island newspaper Newsday. Robert Caro then went on to write about influential people in New York. His work The Power Broker was a biography on New York urban planner Robert Moses, that highlighted the fight for a proposed bridge across Long Island Sound from Rye to Oyster Bay. He then went on to write about Lyndon Johnson's life in a 5 volume set. Caro's books portray Johnson as a complex character who he also saw as a visionary progressive. He enjoyed writing about politicians and their use of power. For his biographies, he has won two Pulitzer Prizes in Biography, the National Book Award, the Francis Parkman Prize which is awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that "best exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist" two National Book Critics Circle Awards, the H.L. Mencken Award, the Carr P. Collins Award from the Texas Institute of Letters, and a Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Art and Letters. In October 2007, Caro was named a "Holtzbrinck Distinguished Visitor" at the American Academy in Berlin. In 2010, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama, the highest award in the humanities given in this country and in 2012 his title Passage of Power: The Years of Lyndon Johnson made the New York Times Best Seller List.

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