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  • Published: 15 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781847923653
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 1312
  • RRP: $49.99

The Power Broker

Robert Moses and the Fall of New York

One of the 100 best non-fiction books ever written (Time)now in paperback for the first time

The Power Broker by Robert A. Caro is 'simply one of the best non-fiction books in English of the last forty years' (Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times):a riveting and timeless account of power, politics and the city of New York by 'the greatest political biographer of our times' (Sunday Times); chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 Best Non-Fiction Books of All Time and by the Modern Library as one of the 100 Greatest Books of the Twentieth Century; Winner of the Pulitzer Prize; a Sunday Times Bestseller; 'An outright masterpiece' (Evening Standard)

The Power Broker tells the story of Robert Moses, the single most powerful man in New York for almost half a century and the greatest builder America (and probably the world) has ever known. Without ever once being elected to office, he created for himself a position of supreme and untouchable authority, allowing him to utterly reshape the city of New York, turning it into the city we know today, while at the same time blighting the lives of millions and remaining accountable to no one.

First published in the USA in 1974, this monumental classic was a Sunday Times bestseller when published in the UK in 2015 and is now widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest books of its kind.

  • Published: 15 October 2018
  • ISBN: 9781847923653
  • Imprint: Bodley Head
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Pages: 1312
  • RRP: $49.99

About the author

Robert A Caro

Robert A. Caro has been described as ‘the greatest political biographer of our times’ (Sunday Times) and ‘the most revered historian of his generation’ (New York Times). His first book, The Power Broker,published in 1974, was described in 2015 as ‘one of the greatest non-fiction works ever written’ (Sunday Times) and his ongoing multi-volume work The Years of Lyndon Johnson has been described as ‘the greatest biography of our era’ (The Times). With these books he has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, twice won the National Book Award and three times won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He has also been awarded virtually every other major literary honour, including the National Humanities Medal, awarded by President Barack Obama, the highest award in the humanities given in the United States. Born in 1935, he graduated from Princeton University, later became a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, and was an investigative reporter for Newsday for six years. He lives with his wife, the writer Ina Caro, in New York City, where he is at work on the fifth and final volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson.

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Praise for The Power Broker

Simply one of the best non-fiction books in English of the past 40 years ... There has probably never been a better dissection of political power ... From the first page ... you know that you are in the hands of a master ... riveting ... superb ... not just a stunning portrait of perhaps the most influential builder in world history ... but an object lesson in the dangers of power

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

One of the great biographies of all time ... [by] one of the great reporters of our time ... and probably the greatest biographer. He is also an extraordinary writer. After reading page 136 of his book The Power Broker, I gasped and read it again, then again. This, I thought, is how it should be done ... said to be one of the greatest nonfiction works ever written ... Every MP, wonk and would-be wonk in Westminster has read [Robert Caro's The Years of Lyndon Johnson], because they think it is the greatest insight into power ever written. They’re nearly right: it’s the second greatest after The Power Broker

Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times

I think about Robert Caro and reading The Power Broker back when I was 22 years old and just being mesmerized, and I'm sure it helped to shape how I think about politics

Barack Obama

This is irresistibly readable, an outright masterpiece and unparalleled insight into how power works and perhaps the greatest portrait ever of a world city

David Sexton, Evening Standard

A stupendous achievement ... Caro's style is gripping, indeed hypnotic, and he squeezes every ounce of drama from his remarkable story … Can a democracy combine visionary leadership with effective checks and balances to contain the misuse of power? No book illustrates this fundamental dilemma of democracy better than The Power Broker ... Indeed, no student of government can regard his education as complete until he has read it

Vernon Bogdanor, Independent

Remarkable … we learn as much about the intoxication and addiction of power as we do about the bureaucratic titan whose imprint on New York bears comparison with his only modern equivalent, the smasher and rebuilder of Paris, Baron Haussmann … [with] his detailed reporting and rhythmic prose, his great acuity for understanding and describing the nuances of politics and power … [Robert Caro] has no contemporary rivals

John R MacArthur, Spectator

Monumental … extraordinary … The writing never flags. The detail is never irrelevant. The sheer relentlessness has a mesmeric quality. The character sketches … are wonderful … the way in which he shows how power is attained and how it can corrupt [is] fascinating … This book has helped change the way history is written

Daniel Finkelstein, The Times

An epic, meticulously detailed study of power in general: how it’s acquired, how it’s used to change history, how it ultimately corrupts those who get it ... Masterfully, Caro shows how Moses transformed New York in ways both progressive and backward, benign and cruel ... as an account of how power and ambition shape the urban environment, The Power Broker has yet to be beaten

Oliver Burkeman, Guardian

The story of how Robert Moses made and broke people and places is astonishing. It comes so highly recommended that it is unignorable

Jeremy Paxman, Observer

A truly exceptional achievement … Important, awesome, compelling … extraordinary on many levels and certain to endure

Washington Post

One of the most exciting, un-put-downable books I have ever read. This is definitive biography, urban history, and investigative journalism. This is a study of the corruption which power exerts on those who wield it to set beside Tacitus and his emperors, Shakespeare and his kings

Baltimore Evening Sun

Surely the greatest book ever written about a city

David Halberstam

Irresistible reading. It is like one of the great Russian novels, overflowing with characters and incidents that all fit into a vast mosaic of plot and counterplot. Only this is no novel. This is a college education in power corruption

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The most absorbing, detailed, instructive, provocative book ever published about the making and raping of modern New York City and environs and the man who did it, about the hidden plumbing of New York City and State politics over the last half-century, about the force of personality and the nature of political power in a democracy. A monumental work, a political biography and political history of the first magnitude

New York

A triumph, brilliant and totally fascinating. A majestic, even Shakespearean, drama about the interplay of power and personality

Justin Kaplan

Caro has written one of the finest, best-researched and most analytically informative descriptions of our political and governmental processes to appear in a generation

Washington Post

Caro’s achievement is staggering … A milestone in literary and publishing history

Houston Post

An extraordinary study of the workings of power, individually, institutionally, politically, and economically

Wall Street Journal

A masterpiece of American reporting. It’s more than the story of a tragic figure or the exploration of the unknown politics of our time. It’s an elegantly written and enthralling work of art

Theodore H. White

In the future, the scholar who writes the history of American cities in the twentieth century will doubtless begin with this extraordinary effort

The New York Times Book Review

This superb life of city planner Robert Moses is also an epic study of power that helped shape Obama’s politics

Sunday Times

Even if you’ve never heard of Moses, the freshness of Caro’s prose makes this an exhilarating study in power

Sunday Times

There has never been a better book about the art of politics, nor a more riveting study of what power does to an individual

Dominic Sandbrook, BBC History Magazine

Its ambition, which is vast, matches the scale of vision of its subject… Aside from being a considerable work of biography, The Power Broker is a near-peerless work of narrative nonfiction. Caro’s style is born of his obsessive attention to detail: he specialises in the rapid-fire accumulation of crushing facts, and the well-placed one-sentence paragraph that knocks you out like a sucker-punch… There are many moments of greatness in this brilliant book.

Karl Whitney, Irish Times

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