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Thread: NY Times article - Rehabilitating Robert Moses

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus
    Jun 2003

    NY Times article - Rehabilitating Robert Moses


    Additional links include a video and slide show Moses’s Impact on New York

    The bulldozing bully who callously displaced thousands of New Yorkers in the name of urban renewal. The public-works kingpin who championed highways as he starved mass transit.

    Moses’ flaws, including his failure to grasp the social devastation caused by some of his projects. “He was perfectly positioned to recognize how any one thing had multiple consequences, like clearing a slum,” she said, yet “he purposely chose to ignore these things.”

    Could you ever have one person who with imperiousness, with concentrated power, with lack of community input, could get things done? The answer is no.”
    Q. Who has read the Robrt Caro's biography - "The Power Broker"
    was it required reading ?

    Anybody going to the exhibits mentioned in the article ?

    What do you think of him ?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Aug 2002
    Wow, I'll have to check this out.

    I first read The Power Broker as a college student. That book inspired me to get into this field in the first place. In my opinion, Robert Moses was an arrogant man who didn't care about the consequences of his actions. With the construction of the Cross-Bronx Expressway, he devastated viable urban neighborhoods. And that's just one of the many projects that he initiated in the NYC metro area.

    It's been 20+ years since I read Caro's excellent biography, but I still feel as strongly as I did before.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    I read the New Yorker version; I was in a bookstore one day and saw it, so I picked it up. It was a good read.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
    Nov 2006
    Jamestown, New York
    From the sounds of it, these exhibits are going to be a white-wash since they left Caro out of the entire development of either one. It's like Southerners who bemoan the loss of "southern culture" by ignoring that the South's antebellum grandeur was built on slavery and the rise of the supposed "New South", until the last couple of decades, was built on Jim Crow.

  5. #5

    Curator Clues

    the Moses apologist in chief here is Hillary Ballon who, to be fair, is handicapped in her perception because she is in fact very wealthy and very white. The pictrues of the pre-Moses' areas in the Columbia gallery actually show nice looking middle class neigborhoods with sports teams in unform, some cars, clean streets, neatly dressed happy people, etc -described as "blight". oh, i forgot, they were also all black people...

    It was really embarrassing to observe. Areas not destroyed by Moses are some of the brownstones and lofts the city (and the realtors) cherishes today. Ballon, who lives in NJ, might also not be able to spearate her personal attachement to suburbs to understand what she is promoting with these propaganda campaigns for top down 'development'. i love city neighborhoods and cool old buildings, so i know i am biased.

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