The power broker
Ch1. P25-P37 (Day 2 : 04-10-2018)
Strong-willed is the common traits shared by Grannie, Bella and Robert Moses. Though they showed them in different way, shape or form. It really amuses me that how old ladies use the elbow technique to jump into the line as the first to buy ticket. It is quite interesting that the comparison between Bella's soft-spoken personality and her direct , sort of anti-permissive management style. Robert got spoiled by his mother is not a surprise to me at all. But is this kind of indulge a root cause that he became the later monster? How much a indulging parenting and upbringing portrait a person's arrogance in later adulthood?
* the ties between immigrant parents and American-born children
* while working tirelessly to give the newcomers a better life, to provide free lodging, meals and medical care, also emphasized lectures on manners, morals and the dangers of socialism.
* She aged early, however, she aged hard.
* Age certainly did not wither her independence.
Ch2: P38-P47 (Day 1 : 04-09-2018)
This chapters illustrated how Bob Moses grew gradually in Yale. He was at first nobody, and then somebody. He did not make a big name for him in Yale from the beginning to the end. But he avidly read, spontaneously exercise, and deliberately choose friends, which shows he is a clear-headed, wise young man, full of charisma, and insightful, both good at strategy and action. I was thinking, if I was his peers at that time, I would notice him and will be honored if he chose me to be his friends. But I would eventually remote him, because I don't think I can handle him, and I will always smell a scent of danger from him.
On a personal note:
I don't know why this is nearly the book I read in original English. This should have been a tough book for me. But this chapter is actually an easy reading. May it is just this only once chapter is easy, or may be my reading comprehension improved during the last 5 or more books. We'll see which is the root reason after the further reading in the future days. For now, I really like this book and sincerely found it intriguing and fascinating. Especially, I like the author's word pick and writing style, which is massive informative but well-controlled in an organized way to hone his ultimate centerpiece Point, that is POWER.
Ch3 - American boy and British nobility
Moses felt good in Oxford, which boost his idealism and arrogance. One more thing, he got adept in Oxford is to change his exceptionally neat in dress to one-suit, one-pair-of-shoes period. He took himself so high, that he did no care about dress or money. And have no patient to even talk about it.
I felt unsatisfied about Robert Caro on this chapter (also on chapter 1) , he just told me what kind of person Moses is, but I wanna know more about what makes him.
After reading this chapter, Robert Moses is still very remote to me. I can saw him from a pedestrian’s perspective. I saw his born, growth, education and overboard experience. but I am not his friend, and he is not mine.
Ch4 Impatient & Love in Training school (Day 4 - 04.12.2018)
Robert entered a training school, as his first step to devote his life in public service.
As a student in the school, he showed his impatience and zeal to make a name for himself and change the city. Moreover, he met his love in the training school. It was his first time to center his attention on a woman, who is always gay, and full of quick wit.
On the verge of being fired, he got an opportunity to get involved in Municipal Civil Service Commission.
It looks like he is not very successful in the very beginning of his career. And he showed the impatience and I-am-better-than-you attitude in the same way that any other 20 something would do. But he is always wise, and have a passion for what he is going to do.
Ch5 (Day 5 - 04.15.2018)
Moses spent his first three years in this chapter to work for his first system: efficiency-rating, which is a thorough plan based on scientific and logical management. He broke down every category of civil service to rate employees fairly. This idealism symbol system had never been taken into account by the big head, the then New York major, Tammany. Along with Robert himself, the system plan was thrown out of the City Hall.
Before this defeat, Robert never spent his time on wondering money and a paying job was not what he wanted, with the financial support from his mother. But now, he, no longer young, need to get himself a real job, and support his family, in which there had been four mouths.
It is always encouraging to saw a hero’s bad day. To see how he got defeated, how he got recovered and learned his lesson.
Btw, Robert Caro’s writing is great. Up to this chapter, this long biography has never bored me. It is not dramatic, but it is really fascinating.
The relationship between biographer and leading character
Ch6 Learn the Lessons (Day 6 - 04.15.2018)
In this chapter, Moses got promoted. There are two big heads, who are at the center of the power: Mrs. Belle Moskowitz and Alfred Emanuel Smith.
The lady used one phone call to pull him over from the Bureau of Municipal Research to reform. “He wondered what she wanted”
In the drafting process, Moses showed his dedication and eagerness. He worked hard, learned hard, write and re-write. He is a tech guy, fully get the know-how. He was good at paper work and dived in to details. ”He thought fast and answered quickly.” “Having him at hand saved everybody time.” More valuably, he learned from Mrs. Moskowitz, what is the other part of the political science, which he did not get from Oxford: to weight gains against loss; get things done without feeling bad, feeling bad is the obstacle. “He was an apt pupil.”
He took others credit. “Moses assumed a proprietary attitude toward the report” He is aggressive phony. “He certainly didn’t talk to her the way he talked about her.”
In this Chapter, it is clear that how important location is, how important trust is, for an eagerly ambitious young man. In this chapter, Robert Moses worked really hard, it is his 而立之年，也是他从theoretical 走向 practical的一年。He did a good job, which is well worth being proud of. Will it lead him to the next success? I don’t know, you don’t know. Who knows? The other big head, Al Smith, knows.
Ch7 Al Smith, Richard Childs, and Robert Moses 2.0 (P113-P135) (Day 7 - 04.19.2018)
* Al Smith is so different from Robert Moses.
* But he likes him, like a magnet.
* “Or was the reason for the attachment, as other old acquaintances speculate, that Al Smith, who outwardly laughed at his lack of formal education and never seemed to mind his lack of money, actually felt both lacks keenly and was thus ready to be impressed by a man he thought had such a wealth of both?” Al 缺钱缺教育，Bob is care-free of both.
* “Arrogance is, after all, one of the coefficients of money. Arrogance would have been an unaffordable luxury to Smith.”
* What amuses me is how Al Smith tried very hard to do a lot of reading to educate and literate himself. For who had ever suffered from it, we can feel the pain.
* “Since most of the bills amended or referred back to other bills passed years before - and not described in the new bills - he took to spending evenings in the Legislative Library reading those old bills, Since some of the most confusing wording was based on legal technicalities, Smith began to borrow law books from law libraries and take them back to the furnished room with him. Sometimes, leafing through the thick volumes, he though wryly that their very appearance would have intimidated him a few years before. Tired of listening to speeches he couldn’t understand, he would pay clerks for transcripts and study the transcripts”
* Robert changed in this period. It is his turn to educate Childs that “just didn’t understand how politics worked”
* “Under Belle Moskowitz’s tutelage, Bob Moses had changed from an uncompromising idealist to a man willing to deal with practical considerations.”
Ch 8 - Albany Inner Circle (Day 8 - 04.20.2018)
Robert is assisting Al Smith in his reform. It is the first time that he found that dreams could come true. “Now, for the first time, when Moses had an idea, he had a good change of seeing it implemented.”
He has been changed by power, or getting into the inner circle of power. He has changed from “withdrawn” to “arrogant, stiff-necked and self-assertive”.
About their skills being honed, Robert has replaced Alfred as the best bill drafter in Albany.
Ch9 - “‘parks’ was a word like ‘motherhood’” (Day 9 - 04.22.2018)
Bob put emphasis on outdoor activities, which is due to his interests in sports, "I had done a lot of hiking and fishing and swimming". He then expanded his work into "physical construction". That's one way sports shape the city. Lol.
He was so into his work, then he moved to Long Island. He is kind of as nerd as Warren Buffet. By nerd, I mean a person who is really self-obssessed, self-intoxicated with his own professional work. Being nerd is a thing of really happiness.
Ch10 (Day 10 - 04.24.2018)
"And since section fifty-nine of the conservation law had been passed in 1994, most legislators had not read it. But the best bill drafter in Albany had read it - and he knew that in that section "appropriation: had quite a different meaning."
It was so funny, that ‘the power broker’ is teaching me how to read law codes. LOL. Robert Caro and Robert Moses gave me a law school lecture. Enjoy it!
Das wird lustig!
Using one word: appropriation. Moses teaches us how to read the code. "Section Eight and Section Nine, when read in conjunction with Section Eighteen, sufficiently broad to permit this Commission to take over the whole of Suffolk County."
He became more patient: "concealed his purposes" not only from his opponents but also from this allies, he utilized "the last-minute adjournment rush" to get bills passed by unanimous vote.
Ch 11 (-P201) (Day 11 - 04.25.2018)
This is a fight about “Talyor Estate”. It is a media fight, Times is involved in. It was supposed to be a fight between the residents of the land to the government who wanted to appropriation the land. Moses shaped it into “motherhood” vs. “rich guy”, by the help of media.
“While Macy had won the first round in a court of law, Moses had won the first round in the court of public opinion.”
Not only did he show his “innocent is gone” in this chapter, but also he showed how he could win with a low cost and high margin, financially and politically. He is cruel, determined, and laid-back in this chapter, even when his tough hand invoked the fury and fear in the citizens. He seemed do not care about who his enemies were. He had some power, and he utilized it, and he boost about it, and he exaggerate it, and then he got the more of it.
* 跟着摩西学自我介绍：”You know, Mr. Rasweiler, the state is all-supreme when it comes to a condemnation proceeding. If we want your land, we can take it.”
* The principle of Three:
“Robert Moses had close to hand three formidable weapons.”
One was the fact; Second was the fact; “The third was the ultimate political weapon: Alfred Emanuel Smith.”
* “Storeis about court development - which were unfavorable to Moses - were kept short and relegated to inside pages.”
* Media report a view of life, but Media is not life itself. Don’t buy all of it, don’t buy anything.
* “The Times was the bible, emerging each morning with a view of life that thousands of readers accepted as reality.”
Ch12 Ends and Means (-P225) (Day 12 - 04.26.2018)
* Moses won a beautiful fight in this chapter.
* He constantly thought about the relationship between ends and means.
* Ends justified means. And Ends justified the means to get it started.
* “If ends justified means, and if the important thing in building a project was to get it started, then any means that got it started were justified.”
* By this philosophy, he distorted the legal system, utilized it to expand his power.
* The eyes of the public.
* “Another lesson Moses learned was that, in the eyes of the public, the end, if not justifying the means, at least made them unimportant.”
* He used the sunk cost fallacy as a momentum to lure his enemy to continue give him money:
* “If they refused to give you the rest of the money, what they had given you would be wasted, and that would make them look bad in the eyes of the public.”
Ch13 *he brought out the best in them (Day 13 - 05.02.2018)
* Every bridge on every parkway on Long Island was going to be different from every other bridge.
* He was an altogether brilliant man
Ch14 P247 “Might he suggest that the judge read the law?”
* Moses inherited personal traits from his mother, his grandmother. Idealistic mixed with arrogance.
* I am exceptionally fond of Robert Caro’s writing style in this chapter. 他的笔触非凡，我不想用优美来形容，在思辨哲理和概念，品评人物和事件的时候，他的笔触拥有非凡的智慧，而又用一种最简单直接的方式给出，同时兼具了层次和波澜。真是妙笔生花。
* Moses leveraged law to benefit his dream: he had written the Park Council bylaws, so that when the old men “reluctantly decided they would have to deny Moses a second one-year term”, they realized they were out of control in the council.
Ch14 P259 "革命父子 Al Smith 与 Bob Moses"
Anecdotes: Robert Caro原稿有1.3M+字 就是没有Jane Jacobs
In answering the question why Jane Jacobs was left out, Caro did not answer directly. He said he wrote about 1.3M words. The editor cut it half. Only 700K words get published. Due to the limit of the technology in publishing, the largest volume for a single bundled book at that time is 1300+ pages. But why not publish Part 1 and Part 2? He said: the editor told me: You have only one opportunity to get people interested in Robert Moses. You do no have chance to get people interested in him twice. He divide the whole volume into series parts, and public seperately to his second masterpiece bio of LBJ. which 是一个新的传奇了。
Ch15: I made most notes in this chapter - P282 (Day 18 - 05.18.2018)
On Robert Moses:
I enjoyed in this chapter, how RM worked hard and practiced his service. He even taught his subordinate how to write in English language: he gave them assignments and made corrections on them.
He got building things done. He broke laws. And he broke men under his strain of the demands. The drawback is also obvious: dismiss, mental breakdown, marital difficulties and one suicide.
I think the key word for this chapter is "loyal". Al Smith's loyal to RM; RM's loyal to AS; RM demanded absolute loyal from his subordinates, and he reward that quality a lot financially, and non-financially.
“Without his loyalty to me,” Moses was to say about Al Smith, "I could have done nothin."
At the end of this chapter, AS ran for presidency, and RM was the man he left to govern NY during that period. AS even told RM to "use his office, and sit in his big chair". 进我屋，坐我座。"Moses did so."
On Robert Caro:
对于 RAC的写作，我真是很激动啊。٩(๑>◡<๑)۶ 以句子为单位的，起承转合怎么能拿捏得这么好。
(起) “You could see how many enemies - bitter, personal enemies - he had. (承) I really believe that Robert Moses was the most hated man in Albany."(转) But Robert Moses didn't have to worry about enemies as long as his friend stuck by him. (合) And his friend stuck.
RAC said: "A bibliography for this book would be another book in itself, and an exercise in pedantry to boot." 我要说： 我读这本书的经历，又可以被拿出来读了。When viewer gets watched, when readers get read.
Ch16 - Here comes the FDR. P298 (Day 19 - 05.19.2018)
* Mrs. M 总是很准啊，女人的直觉！
* 1928 November is a Key year for RM. His political father, with the hope of moving to the White House from Fourth Ward, pulled FRD to the stage. However, AS failed in the election, for RM it is a failure plus threaten.
* 他的‘三冻朋友‘： I don’t like him, I don’t believe him, I don’t trust him. FRD. now is the governor. They mutually hated each other. The black blood between them is so much that either of them would like to play a show on it.
* As the future president, the disability FRD as a 所求者远，所谋者大, was starting to pave his way for his presidency. His plan includes to get rid of Mrs. M and RM. As a man, who has never been good at getting of the people he doesn’t need anymore, his removal of AS’s alley is the final humiliation to AS, not a revenge, but a humiliation.
* 还是好爱RAC的文笔啊，怎么可以这么棒啊！(๑•̀ㅂ•́)و✧ 我喜欢他颐指气使地pinpoint 关键点的样子：“Getting Howe the secretary’s job, which paid $5,000 per year, was important to Roosevelt.” 历史的转角就在这轻轻的一点中被改变了。 RM’s life has been changed again. ━((*′д｀)爻(′д｀*))━!!!!
Ch17 Dear Bob (-P310) (Day 20 - 05.20.2018)
前半章好甜啊，Moses was jubilant.
1929 summer was a golden summer. All the big heads get what they want: 商 the Hoover Market, General Moters, Radio and Big Steel, AT&T, General Electric; 体 Big Bill Tilden, Bobby Jones, Calamity Jane； 文 Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe; 艺 Kate Smith, Gertrude Berg；政 Robert Moses.
Knowledge is Power. FDR needs RM.
“Roosevelt was unsure how to deal with the challenge.” “Although he may have hated Moses, during the four years of his Governorship he gradually increased, not decreased, Moses’s power.”
At first, Moses was defiant; then, he declined FDR’s personal note; finally, he gave suggestions.
全篇最浪漫的一句话：“A nation loved at Robert Moses’s dream and found it good.”
挑战战略啊： ”Moses developed a new routine for his trips to Albany; he would arrive early in the morning for conferences with Roosevelt at the Executive Mansion, but even though the Governor might promise that a bill then on his desk for signature would be signed, Moses would not leave the capital until it was.”