Sincere kudos go out to Roberta Brandes Gratz, New York City Landmarks Preservation Commissioner, and a featured What We See author for the timely release of her latest non-fiction novel on Jane Jacob's legacy: The Battle for Gotham: New York in the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs (Nation, ISBN 978-1-56858-438-6)
Publisher's Weekly describes the book as follows: The mid-20th-century showdown between New York City planning czar Moses and legendary community urbanist Jacobs reverberates down the decades in this meandering polemic. A journalist and member of New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission, Gratz (Of Center for The Living City) views 50 years of economic and real estate development as a duel between the legacies of Moses, whose pharaonic highway and urban renewal projects obliterated neighborhoods, and Jacobs, who extolled urban diversity and disorderly mixed uses, hated cars, and championed organic, human-scale development. Through this lens, Gratz rehashes Jacobs's defeat of Moses's Manhattan expressway schemes, examines New York's (anti-)industrial policies and historical preservation laws, and attacks what she sees as latter-day boondoggles like Brooklyn's proposed mammoth Atlantic Yards development and Columbia University's expansion.
The book will be in bookstores by April 1st. Readers can whet their appetites for What We See with this in-depth contextual history of Jacob's and Moses' showdown in New York, and be especially informed participants in upcoming Jane's Walks after viewing this title!