Al Smith was many things during his political career: reform champion after the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, four-time governor of New York State, the first Catholic presidential candidate. But he was always a New York City boy at heart. [Read more…] about Redeeming Al Smith: New York’s Four-Time Governor
Robert Moses: The Man New Yorkers Love to Hate
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. [Read more…] about Robert Moses: The Man New Yorkers Love to Hate
Long Island’s Barrier Beaches: Gilgo Culture & History
Long Island’s barrier beaches are fascinating places. Stretched along the south shore of the island, they persist through much of Long Island history as wild natural landscapes constantly shifting and remolded by the Atlantic Ocean. And despite the storms and shipwrecks and isolation, people have persisted in thinking “I want to live there.” [Read more…] about Long Island’s Barrier Beaches: Gilgo Culture & History
Bruce Dearstyne’s ‘Spirit of New York’ Reissued In Expanded Edition
Bruce W. Dearstyne’s expanded new edition of The Spirit of New York (SUNY Press, 2022; first published 2016) explores nineteen dramatic events from New York State’s history that altered the course of U.S. history.
From the launch of the state government in April 1777 thru the tragedy of September 11th and through the debut of the musical play Hamilton in 2015, Dearstyne’s chapters describe great political changes, historical turning points, and struggles for social, racial, and environmental reform.
[Read more…] about Bruce Dearstyne’s ‘Spirit of New York’ Reissued In Expanded Edition
Robert Moses’ Least Controversial Triumph: The Niagara Power Plant
The many controversies that surrounded Robert Moses during his long career as New York’s “Master Builder” were sharpened by his long battle with Jane Jacobs and by Robert Caro’s 1974 biography, The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York (1974).
But his least contentious achievements are also the most unknown: the construction of the New York Power Authority’s hydroelectric plants along the St. Lawrence and Niagara Rivers. [Read more…] about Robert Moses’ Least Controversial Triumph: The Niagara Power Plant