Last Three Miles: Politics, Murder and the Construction of America's First Superhighway

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Overview

In the tradition of Robert Caro's The Power Broker, a sweeping, investigative history of the building of the road connecting Manhattan to the rest of the country.

At the dawn of America's love affair with the automobile, cars and trucks leaving the nation's largest city were unceremoniously dumped out of the western end of the Holland Tunnel onto local roads wending their ...
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The Last Three Miles: Politics, Murder, and the Construction of America's First Superhighway

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Overview

In the tradition of Robert Caro's The Power Broker, a sweeping, investigative history of the building of the road connecting Manhattan to the rest of the country.

At the dawn of America's love affair with the automobile, cars and trucks leaving the nation's largest city were unceremoniously dumped out of the western end of the Holland Tunnel onto local roads wending their way through the New Jersey Meadowlands.

Jersey City mayor Frank Hague—dictator of the Hudson County political machine and a national political player—was a prime mover behind the building of the country's first "superhighway," designed to connect the hub of New York City to the United States of America. Hague's nemesis in this undertaking was union boss Teddy Brandle, and construction of the last three miles of Route 25, later dubbed the Pulaski Skyway, marked an epic battle between big labor and big politics, culminating in a murder and the creation of a motorway so flawed it soon became known as "Death Avenue" —now appropriately featured in the opening sequence of the hit HBO series The Sopranos.

A book in the tradition of Robert Caro's The Power Broker and Henry Petroski's Engineers of Dreams, The Last Three Miles brings to vivid life the riveting and bloodstained back story of a fascinating chapter in the heroic age of public works.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595580986
  • Publisher: New Press, The
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Pages: 216
  • Sales rank: 784,554
  • Product dimensions: 5.80 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet 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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Table of Contents


Introduction     1
The Three Barriers     9
The Horseshoe Against the World     31
The Slanted Road     49
Rice Pudding     75
Burned Bridges     97
The War of the Meadows     107
High, Wide, and Handsome     123
The Nightstick Must Prevail     137
Death Avenue     155
Steel and Ghosts     169
Acknowledgments     193
Notes     195
Bibliography     203
Index     207
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  • Posted December 20, 2012

    Engaging book on NJ history

    After reading this book you will realize that corruption in New Jersey is not a new phenomenon. If you like behind-the-scenes looks at everyday structures and how they came to be, you will love this book. The Pulaski Skyway - the underappreciated hunk of iron straddling the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers, connecting Newark and Jersey City, will never be viewed in the same light again. Some details of the story, such as the conflicts between the various personalities, drag a bit, but overall a quick, often humorous, and interesting read.

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