Robert Moses, his life documented in Robert Caro's 1974 Pulitzer Prize-winning biography "The Power Broker", and more recently in another biography (2018) was known as the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City and its environs. His life is also said to have inspired the 2019 film 'Motherless Brooklyn' written, directed, and starring Edward Norton. 'Motherless Brooklyn' is based on Jonathan Lethem's 1999 novel of the same name, set in the '90s. But Norton shifted his movie to the '50s, in part to explore a long-standing fascination with the powerful city planner Robert Moses, and the behind-the-scenes work Moses did to reshape New York City: "the dark, the shadow narrative of how modern New York really got built - the racism that was sort of baked into the city," Norton even invented Alec Baldwin's character, Moses Randolph, to stand in for Robert Moses.
Although Caro's book was not entirely complimentary, the projects undertaken by Moses were generally considered to have been necessary for the region's development after the Great Depression. While admitting that this book "is not an apologia, a personal history, or a chronologically indexed set of official papers", Moses states that it is a record of events "in which I had some part, told in my own way but relying primarily on documentary evidence and the testimony of others and involving salty characters and people of passing prominence". As such, it is a compelling volume of penetrating insights, a wealth of practical information, and proof that the awesome challenges faced by humanity can be overcome.
Robert Moses (1888 -1981) was an American public official who worked mainly in the New York metropolitan area. Known as the "master builder" of mid-20th century New York City, Long Island, Rockland County, and Westchester County, he is sometimes compared to Baron Haussmann of Second Empire Paris, and was one of the most polarising figures in the history of urban development in the United States. His decisions favouring highways over public transit helped create the modern suburbs of Long Island and influenced a generation of engineers, architects, and urban planners who spread his philosophies across the nation despite his not having trained in those professions himself. He tended to regard himself as more of a "coordinator", at one point simultaneously holding twelve titles (including NYC Parks Commissioner and Chairman of the Long Island State Park Commission), creating and leading numerous public authorities that gave him autonomy from the general public and elected officials. He also acted a consultant on projects in other countries such as Venezuela.
Our book is in good general condition, with an unclipped dust jacket which is torn in 3 places and rather worn at the top edge.
The book itself is bound in beige cloth with title etc in navy lettering on front & spine, and motifs in red-brown colour on the front, and shows almost no signs of age apart from slight fading at the top & bottom edges. Some ?damp stains on back cover. Page tops coloured green. Inside, the binding is firm with no loose pages; all pages clean and bright; many B&W photographs. Halftitle page bears ink-written inscription "To Ted White with high regard" and the author's signature. Blue endpapers.