Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City

Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took On New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City

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by Anthony Flint
     
 

The rivalry of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, a struggle for the soul of a city, is one of the most dramatic and consequential in modern American history. To a young Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village, with its winding cobblestone streets and diverse makeup, was everything a city neighborhood should be. But consummate power broker Robert Moses, the father of many of New

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Overview

The rivalry of Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses, a struggle for the soul of a city, is one of the most dramatic and consequential in modern American history. To a young Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village, with its winding cobblestone streets and diverse makeup, was everything a city neighborhood should be. But consummate power broker Robert Moses, the father of many of New York’s most monumental development projects, thought neighborhoods like Greenwich Village were badly in need of “urban renewal.” Standing up against government plans for the city, Jacobs marshaled popular support and political power against Moses, whether to block traffic through her beloved Washington Square Park or to prevent the construction of the Lower Manhattan Expressway, an elevated superhighway that would have destroyed centuries-old streetscapes and displaced thousands of families. By confronting Moses and his vision, Jacobs forever changed the way Americans understood the city. Her story reminds us of the power we have as individuals to confront and defy reckless authority.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781400066742
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/28/2009
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Anthony Flint is the director of public affairs at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, a think-tank on land and development issues located in Cambridge, MA, and was a reporter at The Boston Globe for sixteen years. He is the author of This Land: The Battle Over Sprawl and the Future of America. He lives in Boston.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Anarchy and Order xi

The Girl from Scranton 3

2 The Master Builder 31

3 The Battle of Washington Square Park 61

4 Urban Renewal in Greenwich Village 95

5 The Lower Manhattan Expressway 137

Epilogue Separate Ways 181

Acknowledgments 197

Notes 201

Index 215

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