From Publishers Weekly
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)
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“The Jacobs/Moses war was educational, a living curriculum now encapsulated in Flint’s excellent study.”—The New York Review of Books
“[A] winning account . . . dramatically described . . . [Anthony] Flint looks at a seminal struggle of twentieth-century city planning, one that involved two giants with utterly differing views of how cities should look and develop.”—The Boston Globe
“[This book] shows how these mythic characters shaped each other’s work and reputations. . . . If there’s such a thing as beach reading for the urban studies set, it’s Wrestling with Moses
.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Lively and informative . . . Wrestling with Moses
is about those who fought back against the power broker and in so doing helped set the stage for the city’s revitalization.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Well told . . . one of America’s greatest David and Goliath stories.”—The Hartford Courant