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Published on Nov 3, 2009
To a young Jane Jacobs, Greenwich Village, with its winding cobblestone streets and diverse makeup, was everything a city neighborhood should be. The activist, writer, and mother of three grew so fond of her bustling community that it became a touchstone for her landmark 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. But consummate power broker Robert Moses saw things differently: neighborhoods such as Greenwich Village were in need of urban renewal. Notorious for exacting enormous human costs, Mosess plans had never before been haltednot by governors, mayors, or FDR himself, and certainly not by a housewife from Scranton.
Wrestling with Moses is the tale of a local battle with far-ranging significance. By confronting Moses and his vision, Jacobs forever changed the way Americans understood the city, and inspired citizens across the country to protest destructive projects in their own communities.
Anthony Flint is author of Wrestling with Moses: How Jane Jacobs Took on New York's Master Builder and Transformed the American City, and director of public affairs for the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge. He has been a journalist for over 20 years, primarily at The Boston Globe, where he covered development, urban design, housing, and transportation. His first book, This Land: The Battle over Sprawl and the Future of America, was published by Johns Hopkins University Press. He has been a visiting scholar and Loeb Fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design, and a policy adviser in Massachusetts state government, and is a Citistates Associate. He is a graduate of Middlebury College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.