The Power Broker is a biographical masterpiece written by Robert Caro. This book is an extensive biography of Robert Moses, a man who shaped the urban landscape of New York City and the surrounding area like no other. The Power Broker is a fascinating, detailed, and insightful portrait of the man who exerted more control over the public works of America’s greatest city than any other figure in the twentieth century.
The book is divided into several parts, each focusing on a specific aspect of Robert Moses’ life and career. In the first part, Caro explores Moses’ childhood and early years, tracing his rise from a middle-class family to one of the most powerful men in the country. He describes Moses’ early political connections and his work as a public servant during the Depression, which led to his appointment as the head of the New York City Parks Department in 1934.
The second part of the book focuses on Moses’ time as the head of the Parks Department, where he began to exercise his control over the city’s public spaces. Caro details Moses’ battles with the parks commissioners and his efforts to create new parks and recreational facilities throughout the city. He also describes Moses’ controversial decision to build the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, which displaced thousands of people and destroyed many historic neighborhoods.
In the third part of the book, Caro explores Moses’ years as the head of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, where he expanded his control over the city’s transportation system. He details Moses’ efforts to build new bridges and tunnels, including the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which Moses saw as his crowning achievement. Caro also explores Moses’ use of his power to shape the city’s housing policies, which led to the construction of massive public housing projects that many residents felt were oppressive and inhumane.
Throughout the book, Caro highlights Moses’ use of power and his willingness to do whatever was necessary to achieve his goals. He shows how Moses used his control over the city’s public works to reward his friends and punish his enemies, and how he used his influence to sway public opinion in his favor. Caro also explores Moses’ personal life, including his relationships with women and his increasingly isolated existence in his later years.
The Power Broker is a compelling biography that provides a fascinating look at one of the most influential figures in the history of New York City. Caro’s extensive research and his ability to tell a story make this book a must-read for anyone interested in the history of American cities, politics, or power. The book also provides important insights into the use and abuse of power, and how the actions of a single individual can shape the lives of millions of people.
In conclusion, The Power Broker is an engaging, well-written, and informative biography of one of the most powerful figures in the history of New York City. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of American cities, politics, or power. Robert Caro has written a masterpiece that provides a comprehensive look at the life and career of Robert Moses, and in doing so, he provides important insights into the use and abuse of power that are still relevant today.