Ode to Caro

By | March 11, 2005

I finally finished the book. I don’t even know where to start.

First of all, this book is a perfect example of why I love non-fiction. The author conducted 522 interviews. A bibliography that goes on forever. 100 pages of abbreviated notes. 1100 page opus. It was magnificent. It was a masterpiece. It deserved the Pulitzer. It was stunning, exhausting, spell-binding, magical, powerful, sad, touching. It summoned a cornucopia of emotions and stimulated me intellectually. I take my hat off to the author. Robert Caro, you have outdone yourself. Thank you.

I may read Caro’s book on Johnson, but I need to recover. I am going to read from Beirut to Jerusalem first. A nice short 600 pager.

As to the subject of the masterpiece, Robert Moses. Mr. Moses, you are the most fascinating human being I have read about. You are an anomaly. A human with so many gifts and so many shortcomings. You are in a word, ‘hyperbole’. You are the biggest, the baddest, the most, the worst, the greatest, the ultimate, the colossal, the indefatigable, the saddest, the most ruthless, the most powerful.

Who in history has matched your power over so much for so long?

Throughout Moses’ life, he sought power for the purpose of constructing massive and lasting human achievements. Bridges, Highways, Parks, Damns, Beaches. Huge, built for the ages. You used all that power to build. Selfish, racist, bastard that you were, you were a giant among men.

I suggest this book to anyone who lives in the NYC metro area. If you ever think: How did this building get here? I wonder what it was like to build that bridge? Or I wonder who made this park? Or I wonder why traffic is so bad? The answer is Moses wanted it that way.

I am exhausted. Good Night.

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