Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs” as Want to Read:
The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs

3.28  ·  Rating details ·  148 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
In the 1970s, New York City hit rock bottom. Crime was at its highest, the middle class exodus was in high gear, and bankruptcy loomed. Many people credit New York’s “master builder” Robert Moses with turning Gotham around, despite his brutal, undemocratic. and demolition-heavy ways.Urban critic and journalist Roberta Brandes Gratz contradicts this conventional view. New Y ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published March 30th 2010 by Nation Books (first published 2010)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Battle for Gotham, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Battle for Gotham

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Chris Ledermuller
Jan 27, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: urbanism
I'm a huge fan of Jane Jacobs, and I was in San Francisco and happened by City Lights bookstore when this book beckoned in the display window.

I could polish off much of the book for the 10-hour train ride on the San Joaquin back to Los Angeles.

The train trip was pleasant. This book, though, was disappointing, especially for the relatively high price of a hardcover when it was just a few months old when purchased new in 2010.

"The Battle for Gotham" is an extended thank-you note from Roberta Brand
...more
Andrea
Jun 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
So much not to like about this book. It was written so poorly, I wondered about the editor. Points were made and not supported, but then she would come back to them later. She just bounced around making the whole thing lacking in cogency. But worse was Gratz's egocentrism. She starts the book with her own bio and never stops reminding us of her presence at events and diligence in writing about them. We get it; it's all about you.

The conceit that she is somehow enlightening us to the evils of Rob
...more
Jessica Leight
Oct 14, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book consists of three intertwined strands, none of which I found very satisfying. The first is criticism of Robert Moses that is largely cribbed from Caro’s monumental biography; it didn’t seem that the author has any original research on this point. The second is excerpts from the author’s conversations with or reflections on Jane Jacobs; in some cases, she publishes almost entire conversations without editing. While I’m interested in Jane Jacobs, I don’t think reading whole paragraphs of ...more
Amy
Aug 05, 2017 rated it liked it
I learned a lot.
Michael
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
Robert Moses was the towering figure of public works in the New York of my youth. I swam at his Jones Beach with its gorgeous bathhouses and boardwalk that felt like a stroll on the deck of a luxury liner. It seems Moses shaped the entire waterfront including the crests of the waves. I was driven on his parkways (Belt to see grandma, Meadowbrook to get to Jones Beach). He shaped the 1963 World's Fair (a money loser) and eventually gained control of a half-dozen public agencies. The Moses name se ...more
David A-S
The Battle for Gotham is part memoir, part urban policy study specifically in NY. The Battle is between urban planner Robert Moses and urban advocate Jane Jacobs. Gratz is by no means an impartial observer. Gratz was a city reporter for a couple of decades and since then has been an advocate for Jane Jacobs-type development. The book lets you in on the behind the scenes arguments of those shaping the city and a desire to bring the discussion to the forefront.
Noah Stacy
Oct 06, 2010 rated it did not like it
Disappointing. I didn't make it past the first chapter, which was shaping up as primarily autobiographical rather than an investigation of Moses or Jacobs. While I can appreciate the author's justification for this--that her own story was representative of the city's--it wasn't what I was hoping for when I picked this up.
Lee
May 25, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: history, us-history
This book had it’s points and some parts were okay but overall disappointing. As a New Yorker but not a NYC person some of the neighborhood described in the book really weren’t conveyed well
Patrick
A prolix mishmash.
Lyndsey
rated it liked it
Nov 19, 2014
محمد رأفت
rated it liked it
Dec 24, 2013
Julie A. Braun
rated it liked it
Sep 30, 2016
Chris Barsanti
rated it liked it
Nov 14, 2015
Gary
rated it liked it
Jun 03, 2012
Craig Rivera
rated it it was ok
Jun 19, 2016
KT
rated it really liked it
Jul 27, 2012
Julie
rated it really liked it
Jul 05, 2014
M C
rated it liked it
Nov 05, 2014
Nasha
rated it it was amazing
Oct 03, 2013
Luisdaniel
rated it liked it
Jul 30, 2012
sheena ward
rated it liked it
Jul 01, 2015
Christopher Rising
rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2012
Juju
rated it really liked it
Nov 20, 2011
Ruth Feathers
rated it it was amazing
Sep 10, 2014
Zachary Harless
rated it it was amazing
Jun 22, 2015
David
rated it really liked it
Oct 18, 2010
BZ George
rated it liked it
Mar 18, 2013
Shawn
rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2012
Sattva
rated it did not like it
Nov 02, 2014
Daniel Tshin
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • American Passage: The History of Ellis Island
  • The Devil's Playground: A Century of Pleasure and Profit in Times Square
  • Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Washington to George W. Bush
  • American-Made: The Enduring Legacy of the WPA: When FDR Put the Nation to Work
  • A History of Zionism
  • Teaching the Pig to Dance: A Memoir of Growing Up and Second Chances
  • The Imperial Cruise: A Secret History of Empire and War
  • The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America
  • High Steel: The Daring Men Who Built the World's Greatest Skyline
  • King of the Godfathers
  • Hades (Andrews, Russell)
  • A Tragic Legacy: How a Good vs. Evil Mentality Destroyed the Bush Presidency
  • Obama Zombies: How the Liberal Machine Brainwashed My Generation
  • Grunts: Inside the American Infantry Combat Experience, World War II Through Iraq
  • Tears of a Clown: Glenn Beck and the Tea Bagging of America
  • In the Valley of the Kings: Howard Carter and the Mystery of King Tutankhamun's Tomb
  • A Brave Vessel: The True Tale of the Castaways Who Rescued Jamestown and Inspired Shakespeare's The Tempest
  • Alice in Wonderland and the World Trade Center Disaster

Nonfiction Deals

  • A Guide to the Present Moment
    $7.99 $2.99
  • Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased Down the World's Most Notorious Nazi
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Breaks of the Game
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Soul Keeping: Caring For the Most Important Part of You
    $9.99 $1.99
  • How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Dry
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Animal Liberation: The Definitive Classic of the Animal Movement
    $17.99 $1.99
  • The Measure of a Man
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Recovery: Freedom from Our Addictions
    $13.99 $2.99
  • 100 Days of Real Food: How We Did It, What We Learned, and 100 Easy, Wholesome Recipes Your Family Will Love
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Things No One Will Tell Fat Girls: A Handbook for Unapologetic Living
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
    $13.99 $2.99
  • Best Friends: The True Story of the World's Most Beloved Animal Sanctuary
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Let. It. Go.: How to Stop Running the Show and Start Walking in Faith
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Crown of Blood: The Deadly Inheritance of Lady Jane Grey
    $17.48 $1.99
  • The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
    $12.49 $1.99
  • The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Scar Tissue
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Running with Scissors
    $9.99 $3.99
  • The Black Hole War: My Battle with Stephen Hawking to Make the World Safe for Quantum Mechanics
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love and Manic Depression
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Lunch in Paris: A Love Story, with Recipes
    $9.99 $2.99
  • And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Vegetable Butcher: How to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini
    $22.95 $1.99
  • Facing Your Giants: The God Who Made a Miracle Out of David Stands Ready to Make One Out of You
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Skin...Every Inch of It
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Egg and I
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Secrets of Happy Families: Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More
    $12.74 $1.99
  • Just Another Kid
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Second World War
    $12.99 $3.99
  • Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
    $11.24 $1.99
  • I Am Not Myself These Days (P.S.)
    $13.24 $1.99
  • In the Beginning...Was the Command Line
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Toltec Art of Life and Death
    $11.49 $1.99
  • Put Your Dream to the Test: 10 Questions to Help You See It and Seize It
    $9.49 $2.99
  • The Diva Rules: Ditch the Drama, Find Your Strength, and Sparkle Your Way to the Top
    $17.99 $2.99
  • A Brief History of Time
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone--Especially Ourselves
    $9.99 $1.99
  • All My Road Before Me: The Diary of C. S. Lewis, 1922-1927
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Penguin Lessons
    $12.99 $1.99
  • What They Don't Teach You at Harvard Business School: Notes from a Street-smart Executive
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath
    $10.99 $2.99
  • Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City 2001-2011
    $12.99 $2.99
  • What We Talk About When We Talk About God
    $11.49 $2.99
  • Running with the Kenyans: Passion, Adventure, and the Secrets of the Fastest People on Earth
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Pilgrim's Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Seabiscuit: An American Legend
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Factory Man: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local - and Helped Save an American Town
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist: Unlocking the Secrets of the Last Supper
    $11.99 $1.99
  • The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business
    $12.99 $2.99
  • The Storm of War: A New History of the Second World War
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Apache Wars: The Hunt for Geronimo, the Apache Kid, and the Captive Boy Who Started theLongest War in American History
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
    $10.49 $1.99
  • Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness
    $17.99 $1.99
  • French Kids Eat Everything: How Our Family Moved to France, Cured Picky Eating, Banned Snacking, and Discovered 10 Simple Rules for Raising Happy, Healthy Eaters
    $12.49 $2.99
  • When the Game Was Ours
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Tomorrowland: Our Staggering Journey from Science Fiction to Science Fact
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Art of Power
    $13.99 $1.99
  • Through My Eyes
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Her Daughter Mary Shelley
    $13.99 $1.99
  • A Brief History of Everything
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Invitation
    $12.24 $2.99
  • The World's Religions, Revised and Updated (Plus)
    $8.74 $1.99
  • Leonardo's Notebooks
    $11.99 $2.99
  • An American Childhood
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Making Toast
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Under the Black Flag: The Romance and the Reality of Life Among the Pirates
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN
    $11.99 $2.99
  • 2,000 to 10,000: How to Write Faster, Write Better, and Write More of What You Love
    $2.99 $1.49
  • Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Love, Ellen: A Mother/Daughter Journey
    $10.24 $1.99
  • Secret Historian: The Life and Times of Samuel Steward, Professor, Tattoo Artist, and Sexual Renegade
    $9.99 $3.99
  • Thinkertoys: A Handbook of Creative-Thinking Techniques
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Saving Alex: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began
    $9.49 $1.99
  • Walden on Wheels: On the Open Road from Debt to Freedom
    $5.99 $1.99
  • Clapton: The Autobiography
    $11.99 $1.99