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The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

Book: https://www.notion.so/The-Power-Broker-a12d4e0fe83d49f9a9a3f4263cb51d43

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The net result of all his work was nothing. There was no civil service standardization, no great highway along the Hudson, no mothers' shelters in Central Park. Intending to reform the city, he had worked hard and mastered with a supreme mastery reform’s techniques. Convinced he was right, he had refused to soil the white suit of idealism with compromise. He had really believed that if his system was right – scientific, logical, fair – and if it got a hearing, the system would be adopted. In free and open encounter would not Truth prevail? And he had gotten the hearing. But Moses had failed in his calculations to give certain factors due weight. He had not sufficiently taken into account greed. He had not sufficiently taken not account self-interest. And, most of all, he had not sufficiently taken into account the need for power. Science, knowledge, logic and brilliance might be useful tools but they didn’t build highways or civil service systems. Power built highways and civil service systems. Power was what dreams needed, not power in the hands of the dreamer himself necessarily but power put behind the dreamer’s dreams by the man who had it to put there, power that he termed “executive support.” Neither he himself nor James or Moskowitz had had such power. And the man who did, the man on whom he had counted for support, the mayor who was the epitome of his idealization of the public official, had not, in the final test, been willing to use his power on behalf of Bob Moses' dreams.

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