Robert Moses is the man many New Yorkers love to hate. This is in no small part due to his own hubris and the impact he had on the people living in the path of his massive construction projects. Add to that Robert Caro’s hard hitting 1974 biography The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (Vintage Book, 1975) and you’ve got a reputation that is hard to live down.
Kara Schlichting and Katie Uva, both teachers and urban historians, have been contending with Moses in their works and in their classrooms. On today’s episode they discuss the challenges of teaching Moses and of broadening our understanding of the man and the times in which he operated. We also discuss the undeniable impact of The Power Broker and how historians work to bring context and understanding to this very important figure in New York history.
We also discuss the crucial early years of Robert Moses relating to Long Island and the creation of wildly popular parks and beaches. Did he work to exclude minorities from Jones Beach? Was there anyone to stop him running roughshod across Nassau and Suffolk Counties? The answers in the historical record may not be as simple as you expect.
You can listen to the episode here.
The Long Island History Project is an independent podcast featuring stories and interviews with people passionate about Long Island history. It is hosted by academic librarian Chris Kretz.
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