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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.