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Robert A. Caro on the means and ends of power.


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It's true, but a lot fewer people would be interested in Johnson's contradictions if it weren't for Caro, and that includes researchers who went further than he.

The guy didn't have the perks afforded some of our favorite mockingbirds.  He (and his wife) put great deal of sacrifice into his Robert Moses and LBJ research.

Maybe worthwhile to challenge him to a written debate on assassination issues and on Vietnam.

Edited by David Andrews
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It took a long time, when in my 20's, to read his book on Moses, and the lasting impression was of having someone like J. Edgar Hoover in charge of "making New York City work." Likely Caro combined ( I don't recall)  an interweaving of esthetics and city planning within a structure of ingrained power. Moses isn't the only reason New York City developed in the wrong direction; once the British assumed authority in the early 18th century, they "planned a city" like one plans a backyard chalkboard. The founders and developers of Manhattan, devised a weaving of interlocking streets, triangles, crossed roadways and paid attention to the quality of an individual life. When the Dutch departed, that notion departed with them. As one who was born, schooled and later lived and worked in Manhattan, I have had the experience  - living in the Netherlands for a decade - of realizing the results of each approach, the Dutch and the English. The Dutch way secures the quality of life as a priority; it creates settings that are communal with individuality for each locale; there are preserved and beautiful green spaces in the midst of major cities. Giving one person like Moses so much power to control what the city would look like, and having him stay there so long, New York never found a way to mix the two legacies given to them.

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When I lived in Manhattan in the 1960's I admired Jane Jacobs who challenged Robert Moses and created a citizens movement with her book, "The Death  and Life of Great American Cities." What made Greenwich Village, where I attended NYU Law School, so attractive and interesting was the interplay of the streets that intersected at different angles. It was a delight to walk around the Village.

https://www.bing.com/search?q=the+life+and+death+of+great+american+cities&form=PRUSEN&pc=UE07&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=b22342c652374719880500f2106c648f&sp=1&qs=AS&pq=the+life+and+death+of+great+amer&sc=3-32&cvid=b22342c652374719880500f2106c648f

 

Edited by Douglas Caddy
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Interesting that Jane Jacobs was professionally a protege of Time Life "Henry Luce" as well as a devote of the wild eyed Frederick Von Hayek of the Chicago School. Around the time Jane's career started taking off NYC was an industrial powerhouse boasting about 1 million of it's population involved in the physical creation of wealth. By the time of Moses death in 1981 NYC like many of the industrial centers in the United States had been destroyed by the post industrial paradigm shift that occurred after the unsolved murder of President Kennedy. NYC became a haven for drugs, prostitution and urban decay.  So much for Janes concern for negro removal, she watched as their neighborhoods turned into drug and crime zones and collapsed on top of them. She watched as negro removal to Rykers Island became the norm.

QUOTE:

The second phase of Jacobs’s apprenticeship begins in 1952, when she was recruited by Douglas Haskell, the new editor-in-chief of the new architecture magazine, Architectural Forum, founded by media mogul Henry Luce. Haskell deserves to be better known, and Laurence has done an excellent job in this direction. As far as Jacobs is concerned, he was a life changer. He hired Jacobs for the same reasons Luce had hired him: She was a consummate professional, and she had absolutely no architectural training. He sent her in his stead to a famous conference at the Graduate School of Design in 1956, where she lambasted Harvard’s Urban Design model, thereby earning more plaudits than anyone else.

Laurence’s chapters documenting this period are some of the most fascinating parts of the book. Haskell, a former journalist for The Nation, went for “strictly architectural magazines,” which he said were “fast asleep and snoring” while Eisenhower created the federal Urban Renewal program. Municipal officials like Robert Moses, along with property developers, construction firms, and architects had been waiting since the early 1930s for this kind of (what Jacobs called) “gravy train” situation. Throughout Haskell’s tenure, the journal relentlessly exposed the omnipresence of “slum clearance” associated with Urban Renewal schemes—what James Baldwin referred to more accurately as “Negro Removal.” The resulting looming urban crisis only fanned the flames of Jacobs’s ire. By 1959 she was taking on the corrupt practices of Moses, the New York City Slum Clearance Committee, and real estate developers. She also left Forum to begin work on Death and Life. It had taken 25 years, but she had absorbed the knowledge, discipline, and outrage she needed to become Jane Jacobs.

Laurence’s fascinating book has a surprise ending: Jacobs’s adherence to the ultraconservative Friedrich von Hayek, the hero of Margaret Thatcher and the laissez-faire Chicago School of economics. Jacobs not only rejected urban renewal policies but planning in general, favoring the “invisible hand of the market” as a means of “unslumming” neighborhoods.

 
 
Edited by Jim Harwood
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Feb 8, 2018 - In the coming decades, he, like Fred Trump, would become a real estate ... also called Amalgamated Houses, on Manhattan's Lower East Side. ... for help from a new source: City Construction Commission head Robert Moses, ...

 

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