The Power Broker by Robert A Caro is a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and an outstanding treatise on the creation and use of power in local and state politics.

Robert A Caro is today better known for his well-researched biographies of United States President Lydon Johnson, but in this tome, he traces the life of Robert Moses, from his childhood in the 1890s and through his career as “the most powerful man in New York City”.

Never elected to political office, Moses was an urban planner who rebuilt the face of NYC.  His penchant for building highways encouraged the growth of the modern suburbs of Long Island.

Although he was a divisive figure, and the politicians who employed him didn’t necessarily like him, his skill at political power play rendered him indispensable and immovable.

The Power Broker is an epic work, widely regarded as one of the best biographies of the 20th century. It teaches us much about the history of New York City and about Moses’ role in changing it.


The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (Knopf, New York. 1974) by Robert A. Caro

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: A long book, but absolutely never dull. If you want to read about determination overcoming adversity, this book should be on your list. Robert A Caro is one of my favorite biographers.

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