Sunday, August 4, 2019

the last book I ever read (Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing by Robert A. Caro, excerpt four)

from Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing by Robert A. Caro:

Many other farms—twenty-one in the Dix Hills area alone (I don’t think I ever counted the ones in the Old Westbury area, but there seem to have been more than twenty-one there)—were similarly ruined by the Northern State Parkway: To those farmers, the day they heard that “the road was coming”would always be remembered as a day of tragedy. One consideration alone made the tragedy more bearable to them—their belief that it was necessary, that the route of the parkway had been determined by those ineluctable engineering considerations. But I knew, from the telegrams and letters, that it hadn’t been necessary at all. It would, in fact, have been easy to move the parkway. Besides, for men with power or the money to buy power, Robert Moses had already moved it. It was running across James Roth’s farm only because Otto Kahn hadn’t wanted it to run across his golf course, and could pay to make sure it wouldn’t, and because the Whitneys and the Morgans had power that Moses had decided to accommodate rather than challenge. “For men of wealth and influence,” I was to write, Moses “had moved it more than three miles south of its original location. But James Roth possessed neither money nor influence. And for James Roth, Robert Moses would not move the parkway south even one-tenth of a mile farther. For James Roth, Robert Moses would not move the parkway one foot.”

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