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The Last Three Miles: Politics, Murder, and the Construction of America's First Superhighway Hardcover – June 5, 2007
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[A] first-rate piece of narrative history . . . splendidly written, with nary a wasted word. His account of a massive construction project and its travails, framed by the tale of one of its major players, Frank Hague, revives the story of New Jersey's original "boss" for a new generation. -- Joseph G. Bilby, H-Net
Great real characters -- Hudson County deity Frank Hague and even Longy Zwillman of Newark (last seen in Philip Roth's The Plot Against America), Teddy Brandle and even A. Harry Moore -- fill its pages. - Maureen Berzok, The Star-Ledger
Tells a story as harrowingly as Hitchcock, as dramatically as Welles. - The Record
A fascinating read. - Mario Murillo, host of WBAI's Wake Up Call
A Lapham's Quarterly Recommended Book. Featured in news coverage by The New York Times and The Star-Ledger.
About the Author
Steven Hart is an award-winning journalist who has written for the New York Times, Salon, and the Home News Tribune in New Jersey's Middlesex and Union counties (where Robert Caro worked), among other publications. He lives in New Jersey.
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The book is a relatively short, but interesting look at the politics and labor issues that arose from building the highway. There were many issues and violence was the usual answer from both sides. There is, sadly, very little about the actual design and construction of the viaduct and bridge and there are no maps or other visuals to help understand what makes this such an unusal structure. There are some pictures, but they are of limited help.
If you are interested in the construction of the skyway, find another place to look. If you are interested in the labor relations and politics of this area in that era, this book will be perfect for you.
Frank Hague is truly one of Americas most memorable mayors in America. He ran Jersey City with an iron fist for more than thirty years. Hague was so powerful that Franklin Delano Roosevelt left Hague alone. This is important to keep in mind when reading the book.
This book reads like good novel. It is well written and gives the life and times of this period true life. As in all things, Stephen Hart writes about the good and the bad of those times. Hart writes about the matter of fact corruption and yet the bridge is built as well as hospitals and other institutions that ended serving the community. This book should not be missed. Highly recommended.