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

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

ISBN13: 9780812981360
ISBN10: 0812981367
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

To a young Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village, with its winding cobblestone streets and diverse makeup, was everything a city neighborhood should be. The activist, writer, and mother of three grew so fond of her bustling community that it became a touchstone for her landmark book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. But consummate power broker Robert Moses, the father of many of New Yorks most monumental development projects, saw things differently: neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village were badly in need of “urban renewal.” Notorious for exacting enormous human costs, Mosess plans had never before been halted–not by governors, mayors, or FDR himself, and certainly not by a housewife from Scranton.

The epic rivalry of Jacobs and Moses, played out amid the struggle for the soul of a city, is one of the most dramatic and consequential in modern American history. In Wrestling with Moses, acclaimed reporter and urban planning policy expert Anthony Flint recounts this thrilling David-and-Goliath story, the legacy of which echoes through our society today.

The first ordinary citizens to stand up to government plans for their city, Jacobs and her colleagues began a nationwide movement to reclaim cities for the benefit of their residents. Time and again, 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, a ten-lane elevated superhighway that would have destroyed centuries-old streetscapes and displaced thousands of families and businesses.

Like A Civil Action before it, Wrestling with Moses is the tale of a local battle with far-ranging significance. By confronting Moses and his vision, Jacobs forever changed the way Americans understood the city, and inspired citizens across the country to protest destructive projects in their own communities. Her story reminds us of the power we have as individuals to confront and defy reckless authority.

From the Hardcover edition.

Synopsis:

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.

About 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Greg Cook, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by Greg Cook)
Jane Jacobs was a visionary, prophet, and activist--not a common combination of roles. And Anthony Flint's superb book sets Jacobs against an arch-villain in the person of Robert Moses. The story tells of an era and sets up our own time, and includes planning, politics, and personalities in one of the world's most exciting cities: N.Y.C. This story has elements of a good novel, but turning this into a novel would only spoil it.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780812981360
Author:
Flint, Anthony
Publisher:
Random House Trade
Subject:
Sociology - Urban
Subject:
Planning
Subject:
Buildings - Public, Commercial & Industrial
Subject:
World History-General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
16-PP B/W PHOTO SECTION + CHAPTER-OPENIN
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
8 x 5.19 x .58 in .45 lb

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Cityscape
Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Urban Planning
History and Social Science » Americana » New York
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » City Specific
History and Social Science » Sociology » Urban Studies » General
History and Social Science » US History » 20th Century » General
History and Social Science » World History » General

Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City New Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages Random House Trade - English 9780812981360 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , 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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