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The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (1974)

af Robert A. Caro

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2,118285,504 (4.58)59
Moses is pictured as idealist reformer and political manipulator as his rise to power and eventual domination of New York State politics is documented.
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» Se også 59 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 28 (næste | vis alle)
What can I say about this book that has not been said by many other people? This is one of the best biographies I have ever read, a biography of a man and a city.

What one man did to shape the lives of the millions of people who have lived in the New York City area, one man whose name relatively few people would be familiar with, is simply mind-boggling. I sometimes listened to this book while walking around this great city I call home, and was stunned by how much of what I saw around me was shaped by Robert Moses.

If you have any interest in New York City, government, city planning, or what people will do to achieve and keep power, I highly recommend this book. ( )
  evenlake | Mar 23, 2021 |
One of the best nonfiction books I've ever read, and something I only hold back from calling THE best because of occasional boring stumbles that don't really detract from the overall quality. Caro takes what could have been a dry, boring historical piece and injects it with real humanity and life. Totally fascinating to read about how so many problems we are discussing in New York City, and other cities today, got their start. If you're willing to sit down and plug through all 1000 pages (which, to be fair, I was only pushed into by a book club), this is a great book. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
I gave up on this book after 10%, which given that it's a massive fucking book, is actually quite the trial run. While it's a good read, it's not great, and its extreme length makes that a particularly bad tradeoff. This thing could do with an editor; I'll tolerate reading through the obligatory story of Moses' childhood, but hearing in great detail about his friends' childhoods too is just too much. Maybe it gets better, but maybe it doesn't, and I wasn't invested enough to find out. ( )
1 stem isovector | Dec 13, 2020 |
So I finished Robert Caro's _The Power Broker_. It is a spectacular masterpiece displaying a rare combination of deep and penetrating research with clear and enticing writing. This book is a monument to Caro's brilliance, determination and imagination.
As I contemplated the book after finishing it, I thought about how the production of a masterpiece like this book requires many of the same qualities that Moses had. Just like Moses, Caro is a workaholic, incredibly productive and a visionary. Despite all of these similarities, there will be no statues or public works celebrating Caro
How are they different? Many would point out that Moses had the ability to get things done. Of course, that is an oversimplification, as completing _The Power Broker_ is clearly getting things done. However, Moses could force things past the opposition of others. Yet his ability to do so really was just a product of his cruelty and narcissism.
It is tempting to wonder what could have been accomplished if Moses was not a racist and cruel man with no vision of what the city really needed. I think this is simply a flight of fancy. Our society and economic system never would have allowed power to accumulate in the hands of anyone lacking Moses's cruelty. Perhaps this explains why so many of the people with statues were fundamentally cruel to many and why so many of my heroes don't have statues. ( )
  pnficara | Jul 26, 2020 |
Without a doubt one of the finest books I have ever, ever read. ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 28 (næste | vis alle)
 
From time to time Mr. Caro feels that he ought to explain why Moses is what he is and his narrative is occasionally marred by vulgar Freudianisms in the Leon Edel manner. This is a pity because the chief interest of biography is not why men do what they do, which can never be known unless one turns novelist the way Freud did when he wrote Leonardo, but what they do. One does not want a theory explaining Moses's celebrated vindictiveness when examples of that vindictiveness are a matter of interesting record. For instance, after a run-in with Mayor Jimmy Walker, Moses tore down the Casino in Central Park because Walker had patronized it; yet the building itself was a charming relic of the previous century and the people's property. Prematurely, he razed a yacht club because the members "were rude to me." Shades of Richard Nixon! Petty revenge was certainly behind his desire to remove the Battery's most famous landmark-the Aquarium in the old fort known as Castle Garden...

Finally, in looking back over all that Robert Moses has done to the world we live in and, more important, the way that he did it by early mastering the twin arts of publicity and of corruption, one sees in the design of his career a perfect blueprint for that inevitable figure, perhaps even now standing in the wings of the Republic, rehearsing to himself such phrases as "law and order," "renewal and reform," "sacrifice and triumph," the first popularly elected dictator of the United States.
tilføjet af SnootyBaronet | RedigerThe New York Review of Books, Gore Vidal
 

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As The captain of the Yale swimming team stood beside the pool, still dripping after his laps, and listened to Bob Moses, the team's second-best freestyler, he didn't know what shocked him more—the suggestion or the fact that it was Moses who was making it.
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You can draw any kind of picture you want on a clean slate and indulge your every whim in the wilderness in laying out a New Delhi, Canberra, or Brasilia, but when you operate in an overbuilt metropolis, you have to hack your way with a meat ax.
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Moses is pictured as idealist reformer and political manipulator as his rise to power and eventual domination of New York State politics is documented.

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