Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City

Anthony Flint, Author . Random $27 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4000-6674-2

Former Boston Globe reporter Flint recounts how activist and writer Jane Jacobs stopped the seemingly unstoppable master builder Robert Moses. Beginning in the 1930s, Moses consolidated his enormous power through the administrations of various mayors and governors, revamping the city parks network and constructing a mind-boggling array of projects including bridges, highways, Shea Stadium, Lincoln Center and 10 giant public swimming pools. Although highly skilled at crushing opponents, Moses was eventually outmaneuvered in the 1950s and '60s by Jacobs, whose landmark The Death and Life of Great American Cities was a war cry against urban renewal projects that destroyed existing neighborhoods. Jacobs derailed Moses's plans to run two highways through lower Manhattan (one in what would become trendy SoHo). But, says Flint (This Land: The Battle Over Sprawl and the Future of America ), who is now at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Moses's tarnished reputation has been undergoing rehabilitation recently as cities realize the value of reliable infrastructure. Lucid and articulate, Flint's account will appeal more to urban planners, policy wonks and community organizers than the general reader. Photos. (July 28)

Reviewed on: 05/25/2009
Release date: 07/01/2009
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 231 pages - 978-0-8129-8136-0
Open Ebook - 180 pages - 978-1-58836-862-1
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