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17 December 2010


Wow -- that is a perfect gift ... for me! Probably too late for wishlists but I'll have to decide whether to buy with my m-i-l's Xmas check or do the ILL thing. I am an urban planning/architecture junkie and have been circling around the Power Broker for YEARS ... my current plan is that when we take a year off and drive around the country in an RV, I'll bring that book. And I have The Life and Death of American Cities but haven't gotten around to that, either. This sounds like a great, concise, well-written account ... my favorite kind of narrative nonfiction. Thank you thank you thank you. (And if I may add my own nonfiction gift recommendation: Other Powers by Barbara Goldsmith -- about Victoria Woodhull, an amazing American character -- suffragette, spiritualist, stockbroker -- great tale, exceedingly well told.)

Well then, get it for yourself! Of course you know my policy on always checking a book out from the library before buying it, but I really think if you're an urban planning junkie you might like this one (although it's no "Power Broker"--that's a dense book!). It actually was very interesting about both Jacobs AND Moses--pointing out that Moses got a lot of good building done in NYC too.

And thank you for the "Other Powers" suggestion. I'm totally checking it out. Happy holidays to you!!

Hi CR - Thanks so much for the recommendation. I did get this title for my husband for Christmas and was delighted by his "Wow! How did you know? Were you snooping on my holds list?" Turns out this year I did NOT have to hack his library account since I relied on your excellent suggestions. All the best in 2011!

I'm SO glad to be of help! I hope your husband likes the book--some reviews I read of it said it was too "policy wonky," but I didn't find that at all--I thought the larger-than-life characters of both Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs really made it come alive! I'd be interested to hear what your husband thinks of it, if you ever want to pop back in and let me know.

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