The power broker: Robert Moses and the fall of New York

Book Cover
Average Rating
Vintage Books,
Pub. Date:
1975, c1974.
For the sheer magnitude, depth and authority of its revelations, The Power Broker stands alone---a huge and galvanizing biography revealing not only the virtually unknown saga of one man's incredible accumulation of power, but the hidden story of the shaping (and mis-shaping) of New York through the past half-century. Robert Caro's monumental book makes public what few outsiders have known: that Robert Moses was the single most powerful man of our time in the City and in the State of New York. And in telling the Moses story, Caro both opens up to an unprecedented degree the way in which politics really happens--the way things really get done in America's City Halls and Statehouses--and brings to light a bonanza of vital new information about such national figures as Alfred E. Smith and Franklin D. Roosevelt (and the genesis of their blood feud), about Fiorello La Guardia, John V. Lindsay and Nelson Rockefeller. But The Power Broker is first and foremost a brilliant multidimensional portrait of a man--an extraordinary man who, denied power within the normal framework of the democratic process, stepped outside that framework to grasp power sufficient to shape a great city and to hold sway over the very texture of millions of lives. We see how Moses began: the handsome, intellectual young heir to the world of Our Crowd, an idealist. How, rebuffed by the entrenched political establishment, he fought for the power to accomplish his ideals. How he first created a miraculous flowering of parks and parkways, playlands and beaches--and then ultimately brought down on the city the smog-choked aridity of our urban landscape, the endless miles of (never sufficient) highway, the hopeless sprawl of Long Island, the massive failures of public housing, and countless other barriers to humane living. How, inevitably, the accumulation of power became an end in itself. Moses built an empire and lived like an emperor. He was held in fear--his dossiers could disgorge the dark secret of anyone who opposed him. He was, he claimed, above politics, above deals; and through decade after decade, the newspapers and the public believed. Meanwhile, he was developing his public authorities into a fourth branch of government known as "Triborough"--a government whose records were closed to the public, whose policies and plans were decided not by voters or elected officials but solely by Moses--an immense economic force directing pressure on labor unions, on banks, on all the city's political and economic institutions, and on the press, and on the Church. He doled out millions of dollars' worth of legal fees, insurance commissions, lucrative contracts on the basis of who could best pay him back in the only coin he coveted: power. He dominated the politics and politicians of his time--without ever having been elected to any office. He was, in essence, above our democratic system. Robert Moses held power in the state for 44 years, through the governorships of Smith, Roosevelt, Lehman, Dewey, Harriman and Rockefeller, and in the city for 34 years, through the mayoralties of La Guardia, O'Dwyer, Impellitteri, Wagner and Lindsay, He personally conceived and carried through public works costing 27 billion dollars--he was undoubtedly America's greatest builder. This is how he built and dominated New York--before, finally, he was stripped of his reputation (by the press) and his power (by Nelson Rockefeller). But his work, and his will, had been done.
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Grouped Work ID d567c66b-8cc0-95aa-eb04-eea96a89309f
full_title power broker robert moses and the fall of new york
author caro robert a
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-08-08 15:54:54PM

Solr Details

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accelerated_reader_reading_level 0
author Caro, Robert A.
author-letter Caro, Robert A.
author_additional Robert A. Caro.
author_display Caro, Robert A
availability_toggle_arlington Available Now, Entire Collection
available_at_arlington Aurora Hills, Central
callnumber_sort_arlington B MOSES R
collection_arlington Biographies
date_added 2013-12-24T05:00:00Z
days_since_added 1338
detailed_location_arlington Aurora Hills Biographies, Central Biographies
display_description Moses is pictured as idealist reformer and political manipulator as his rise to power and eventual domination of New York State politics is documented.
edition Vintage Books ed.
format_arlington Book
format_boost 10
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id d567c66b-8cc0-95aa-eb04-eea96a89309f
isbn 9780394720241
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itype_arlington Paperback
language English
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lexile_score -1
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literary_form Non Fiction
literary_form_full Non Fiction
local_callnumber_arlington B MOSES R
local_callnumber_exact_arlington B MOSES R
local_callnumber_left_arlington B MOSES R
local_days_since_added_arlington 1338
num_holdings 2
oclc (OCoLC)1631862
owning_library_arlington Arlington Public Library, Aurora Hills, Central, Cherrydale, Columbia Pike, Connection Crystal City, Detention Center, Glencarlyn, Local History, Plaza, Shirlington, Westover
owning_location_arlington Aurora Hills, Central
physical 1246, xxxiv p., [25] leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
popularity 9
primary_isbn 9780394720241
publishDate 1975
publishDateSort 1975
publisher Vintage Books,
rating 2.5
rating_facet oneStar, twoStar
record_details ils:.b13084392|Book|Books|Vintage Books ed.|English|Vintage Books,|1975, c1974.|1246, xxxiv p., [25] leaves of plates : ill. ; 24 cm.
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scoping_details_arlington ils:.b13084392|.i18805486|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||, ils:.b13084392|.i21373152|On Shelf|On Shelf|false|true|true|false|false|true|999|||
subject_facet Moses, Robert, -- 1888-1981, New York (N.Y.) -- History -- 1898-1951, New York (N.Y.) -- Politics and government -- 1898-1951
table_of_contents Introduction: Wait until the evening -- Line of succession -- Robert Moses at Yale -- Home away from home -- Burning -- Age of optimism -- Curriculum changes -- Change in major -- The taste of power -- A dream -- The best bill drafter in Albany -- The majesty of law -- Robert Moses and the creature of the machine -- Driving -- Changing -- Curator of cauliflowers -- The featherduster -- The mother of accommodation -- New York City before Robert Moses -- To power in the city -- One year -- The candidate -- Order number 129 -- In the saddle -- Driving -- Changing -- Two brothers --Changing -- The warp and the loom -- "And when the last law was down..." -- Revenge -- Monopoly -- Quid pro quo -- Leading out the regiment -- Moses and the mayors -- "RM" -- The meat ax -- One mile -- One mile (afterward) -- The highwayman -- Point of no return -- Rumors and the report of rumors -- Tavern in the town -- Late arrival -- Mustache and the bard -- Off to the fair -- Nelson -- The great fair -- Old lion, young mayor -- The last stand -- Old.
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title The power broker : Robert Moses and the fall of New York
title_display The power broker : Robert Moses and the fall of New York
title_full The power broker : Robert Moses and the fall of New York / Robert A. Caro
title_short The power broker :
title_sort power broker robert moses and the fall of new york
title_sub Robert Moses and the fall of New York