Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Rehabilitating Robert Moses: New York Times

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Robert Moses, Queens Museum, Museum of the City of New York – Architecture – New York Times

Published: January 23, 2007


Robert Moses was a man of his time, no doubt. And he was determined to get things done his way, and ride rough shod over all opposition – especially from the community. Pointing to his achievements, these three exhibitions are trying to accentuate the positive and offset what is now seen as the harsh judgement delivered by Robert A Caro’s definitive biography.


I suspect that there is some agenda here – since Moses hated transit and built expressways. And the auto lobby are still demanding more roads and ever more resources for their failed experiments in social engineering. Maybe it is significant that Caro is not invited to any of the exhibitions.


Or am I paranoid?


Written by Stephen Rees

January 24, 2007 at 5:21 pm

One Response

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  1. Stephen,

    You’re right – Moses is the embodiment of “man of his time.” He wielded eminent domain like a cudgel. He evicted hundreds of thousands of (mostly) minorities for his expressways, and supposedly wanted to keep blacks out of his new parks.

    But many of those parks he supposedly built for white communities are today mixed, or primarily minority communities. So do the ends (today, not in HIS time), justify the means?

    I say yes.

    Anyway, thanks for the post. I missed the exhibitions but recently read Caro’s book, and ended up writing a post about it, if you’d like a look.



    February 15, 2010 at 12:40 pm

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