A spellbinding telling of the life of an ambitious, intellectual giant. His ability to transcend normal human limitations was matched only by his corruptible nature.
Excellent book from Caro as usual. I found, however, that I could have lived with just the first downloaded Part 1 and maybe a synopsis of the rest. If you're from NYC I'm sure the book is fascinating from beginning to (what was painful for me) end. I'm from UPSTATE NY and while I appreciate the history of it all, I can't say I enjoyed this as I did Caro's book on LBJ.
Absolutely, especially to anyone familiar with the city. It's perfect for anyone interested in politics but it describes NY in such great detail it's good to be knowledgeable about the area. Robert Caro is a superb writer. He illustrates so well how a young idealist can be torn down and remade into a cutthroat official. It really is amazing to hear about all the people Moses worked with intimately. Al Smith, FDR, Laguardia, Rockefeller among many more are all important characters in the story. Really a fascinating biography.
Robert Dean does a great job throughout. His deep voice seems perfect for describing a tough SOB like Moses. I especially enjoyed when he reads about Al Smith and Laguardia.
Not all great men are good
Like Robert Moses, I can claim great accomplishments -- like listening to all of this massive tome. But it was easy. Brilliantly researched, written and performed. Both the story of a compelling but deeply flawed character and an inside look at how things got done in NY over a 50 year period. i consumed it in stages over two years but never had a problem reentering the story even after putting it aside for months at time.
A phenomenal work of investigative journalism that captures the behind the scenes manipulations that shape the lives of New Yorkers every day. Moses was a schemer and an authoritarian despot who was able to capitalize on characteristic that both makes and breaks most New Yorkers—impatience. He built amazing things, usually at devastating expense.
The only reason I did not give this five stars is because there was some coverage that--reading this book many years after it was published--I suspect was left on the cutting room floor. Not much on the Rockaway improvements here, and not a single mention of Jane Jacobs. I will have to follow up by weeding through old Caro interviews to see where those bits went. I'd also be interested in reading some defenses of Moses, just for the sake of equal time.
A few other notes/questions:
1. Why, oh why, is this not available on Kindle? When listening to intense histories I like to be able to refer to the book and notes as I go, and being able to search an ebook for keywords is very helpful in that respect. And also, this is not a book that fits easily into one's purse.
2. And finally: This would make a freaking amazing long-form TV series, a modern day, real-world Game of Thrones. Who is sitting on the rights and why isn't it in development with HBO (or Netflix?) already?
3. The audio performance is quite good, but I found it excruciatingly slow, to the point where the voice seemed distorted (perhaps a recording or download glitch?). I found it sounded much more natural when sped up 1.25x (although still a little slow; I listened at 1.5-2x).
Comprehensive and full of details about the inner workings of city, state and federal government. Robert Moses remains a polarizing historical figure, however I cannot imagine what NYC, LI and Westchester would look like without his vision and determination.
This was such a wonderful story told about the man behind many of the public works in the NYC-Metro area, which I use every day without giving a second thought to there origins or the man behind it. Robert Caro is easily the greatest biographer I've ever read!
Detailed research that the writer translates into masterful story telling.
He has a soothing, easy voice, and yet is able to change when appropriate for effect.
66 hours and change? No way would I want to listen to in one sitting. I wouldn't be able to stand again!
A wonderful read for anyone who lives in the tri-state area, and especially, for those who go through the daily grind of commuting for work in that area. It's an eye-opening read!
phenomenal writing, in depth, well researched and full of character and humanity. achievements on this scale don't seem to happen in the west anymore or are more virtual than bricks and mortar. in the east, where such things happen, it is too often by committee, behind the veil of the communist party or gulf state gerontocracies, and financed by mountains of cash. nothing compares to the circumstances that coincided with Moses's achievements: the depression and WWII! an impressive man, but sadly also such a deeply flawed one too.