The Battle for Gotham


“The spirit of Robert Moses has climbed from its crypt and again stalks the city. Roberta Gratz—channeling her friend Jane Jacobs—is determined to re-inter him, not with stake or silver bullet, but with a rigorous accounting of the true historical costs of Moses-style development,and the under appreciated benefits of citizen-led, bottom-up regeneration. Its paean to urban complexity, coupled with its practical policy prescriptions,make the feisty Battle for Gotham a compelling and inspiring read.”   —Mike Wallace, author, Gotham:A History of New York City to 1898 and director, Gotham Center for New York City History

The Battle for Gotham is a brilliant account of the struggle between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs—a struggle for how New York would develop in the twentieth century. A meticulous researcher, Roberta Gratz makes every fact resonate; she has made this story matter for our own time, and for people who are not New Yorkers. Anyone who cares about cities should read this book.” —Richard Sennett, author, The Conscience of the Eye: The Design and Social Life of Cities and The Craftsman


“For close to fifty years, Roberta Brandes Gratz has—with tenacity, acuity, and brio—been fighting the good fight for humane and sustainablecities. Her latest report from the trenches is filled with tales of villainybut, more importantly, with an unshakeable and persuasive hope for a betterfuture. Like those of her great mentor, Jane Jacobs, her prescriptions are bothlogical and personal, precise and visionary. This is a book that springs fromdeep feelings of love." —Michael Sorkin, author, Twenty Minutes in Manhattan and Distinguished Professor of Architecture andDirector of the Graduate Program in Urban Design at the City College of NewYork

“Roberta Gratz poignantly weaves her own life story of urbanistic exploration together with the story of the battle of ideas between Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs to give the reader a palpable sense of complex urbanism. The result is an elucidation of how to make a better city. —Jonathan Rose, president, Jonathan Rose Companies

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