New Ways To Understand Robert Moses: An Interview With Katie Uva And Kara Murphy Schlichting

Gotham Center for New York City History

This article originally appeared on the Gotham Center for New York City History website.

If you teach courses on New York City’s history, or just have a passing interest in its past, you are sure to come across Robert A. Caro’s biography The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York. Published in 1974, it remains influential and informs an exhibit at the New-York Historical Society, echoes into David Hare’s new play Straight Line Crazy, and appears conspicuously in Zoom conversations on the bookshelves of politicians and journalists.

But there is more to understanding Moses, his city and his times, as Katie Uva and Kara Murphy Schlichting argue in a valuable two part-series published in the “Teach New York” section of the journal New York History. Writing with clarity and authority, Schlichting, an associate professor of history at Queens College, and Uva, a teacher, writer, and historian, deliver an analysis of the historiography around Moses that prompts new interpretations of his career and present a wealth of primary sources (nearly all of which are available online) that will be useful for teaching. Read more...