This audiobook is one of the best ever. The narrator was simply wonderful. I listened at 1.5x playback speed, which for me was perfect.
There is simply nothing better than a great narrator reading a wonderful book to you!
Robert Caro is a master author.
This book should be required reading in college political science classes as a classic study of political power. Moses' life spanned decades during critical development of NYC. Moses was good and bad.
If you are a New Yorker or visit New York City often, this book is a must. And, if you just like a damn good story, this is it.
I purchased this for my husband because he has always been interested in history. He had just finished the book by the same author, Robert Caro, about Lyndon B Johnson....not someone he cared for. He found this very interesting also and thoroughly enjoyed listening to it. Definitely would recommend this book.
Just a fantastically broad and entertaining and insightful book. You will learn a lot, you will be furious at the man, you will even feel sorry for him. It's like a Shakespearean play but true.
Definitely. If you ever want to know the meaning of the word POWER, you found it. This is a book where writing a long story rather than a short one was worth every word! Not only will you revisit history (in a lot of detail) but more importantly, will see the implementation and execution of power in a non-traditional environment.
Moses, no doubt!
He is able to incorporate "life" to an already well written book.
Persevere to triumph!
Basically, if you love Caro's LBJ's books, you'll love "The Power Broker" (and vice versa). Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson's backgrounds were completely different, but both men wielded power in similar ways -- ruthlessly and effectively. Both were capable of great compassion and great cruelty. People who tried to stop them were crushed. And the press excused them over and over again until their destructive ways could no longer be excused or concealed. Caro is brilliant, but he really doesn't know how to edit information. The book was 1,300 pages (66 hours) but even that was cut down from its original 1,700+ pages, and you get the distinct impression that it could have been 3,000 pages or more if Caro could have sold a book that long. Caro, like this book's subject, doesn't really know when to stop. While I appreciate all the detail, the slow pace gets tiresome after awhile. Like most people, Moses's most interesting years were the early ones. As the story goes on, he simply acquires more and more power as he transforms from an anti-corruption idealist to a thoroughly corrupt demagogue of the worst kind -- the kind who cannot be voted out of office. The last 20 hours or so are simply painful to listen to. Moses's claims to be apolitical and always acting in the interest of the taxpayer is revealed to be, in Caro's devastating introduction, "a gigantic hoax."The book is basically an indictment of American journalism for naively believing all the lies and deceptions that people in power like Moses yield. It was only when younger reporters actually started taking a critical view of Moses's activities in the late 1950s that his reputation started to take some well-deserved hits. But Moses had been raping the taxpayer without their knowledge for 30 years by then. "The Power Broker" will make you look at your city's roads, bridges, and freeways in a different light, and make you wonder what the "Parks Commissioner" in your town was really like.
The reading by Robertson Dean was superb.
It showed how Robert Moses obsessively gained power and welded it for decades while building much of modern New York. Do you think that if Robert Moses was alive now that it would have taken a decade to rebuild the World Trade Center?
How his absolute power corrupted him. No one should have this much influence. On the other hand, New York probably would not work nearly as well today if this tyrant hadn't built it so cohesively.
How to Bankrupt a City in 6 Easy Decades
The meticulous detail and exhaustive research that is evident in Robert Caro's book, as in his LBJ series, is phenomenal. The story engenders both anger and sadness -- a brilliant man so narcissistic that his literal and figurative deafness to the ideas of others ruined America's greatest city.
Yes, with the caveat that reading through the minutiae of four decades of New York politics is very tedious.
The revenge of the people, in the person of Nelson Rockefeller, against this spoiled manchild.
A Study in Narcissism
This is a masterpiece: at once a brilliant biography; a primer on 20th century NY city and state politics; and an introduction to urban planning and traffic engineering. Caro offers a fascinating object lesson on the dangers of hero worship, and how much a democracy loses when the press falls down on the job. Robertson Dean's excellent narration kept my interest throughout this very long, but extremely rewarding, book.
Probably among the top two or three. It does all that I ask of audiobooks. It permits me to read long books that I don't have time to read otherwise; keeps me intellectually engaged; and provides a narrator whose grasp of the material is reflected in the nuanced way in which he or she reads.
Robert Moses literally shaped New York City's 20th and 21st century destiny. Robert Caro pieces together the story of how and why Robert Moses did so to weave a universal story of power and how it is acquired and maintained, a personal story of a man of greatness and severe deficiencies, and an essential study of urban planning and government, and their ways, means, and impacts.
Robertson Dean's straightforward, intelligent, heartfelt, measured performance was incredible. He seemed to fully understand all that he was reading -- familiar with all the names and ideas found there -- and I wondered how many times he had read the text before the performance. His pacing was also perfect -- not too fast, not too slow.
It made me furious. I hadn't realized that the lack of amenities -- park areas, playground areas -- in Harlem and other principally black neighborhoods was not the result of benign neglect but of active racism. Having grown up there and now being a mother myself, I now see that the teenaged boys who lived in cramped, unpleasant apartments had no other recourse than to hang out in the streets and expose themselves to bad influences and predators -- the odds were so stacked against them from that aspect of their existence alone. I also hadn't realized to what extent the funds that might have improved schools and hospitals -- facilities that were crumbling in the 1950s through 1970s -- were channeled instead to the highways and bridges that Moses masterminded. And I was inspired by those who successfully -- and unsuccessfully -- fought against Moses' incursions into thriving neighborhoods, and fascinated to see how Moses' power eventually and suddenly crumbled.
I don't know if this would be as compelling to the reader who isn't able to visualize the places under scrutiny -- Randall's Island, Triboro Bridge, Jones Beach. But if you are familiar with New York and don't really understand how this city became the way it is now, you must listen to this book. The story of Robert Moses is -- not at all metaphorically but in the most concrete sense -- the story of New York, the city and the state.
Husband, Dad, Principal, Adjunct prof, RC Deacon, radio co-host, story teller, NYer, walker, & occasional sipper of fine whisk(e)y,
Great look at a NY icon, or is it megalomaniac? A MUST for folks interested in Politics - especially New York Politics!