The term ‘power broker’ is a familiar one, but even now I think a lot of people might not have much of a response to the name Robert Moses. That’s the man chronicled in Robert A. Caro‘s 1974 book The Power Broker, which positioned Moses as essentially the most powerful man in New York, and described how he used that power to shape the city.
Soon many more people might be familiar with Moses’ name, as Oliver Stone is developing a film based on the book. He’ll direct the project, which would air on HBO.
THR says Nicholas Meyer (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, The Human Stain) will script based on Caro’s book. Stone will be an exec producer along with James Gandolfini and Peter Guber. Check out the synopsis below, which will demonstrate how this story is very firmly entrenched in familiar ground for Oliver Stone:
Winner of both the Pulitzer and the Francis Parkman prizes, The Power Broker tells the hidden story behind the shaping (and mis-shaping) of twentieth-century New York (city and state) and makes public what few have known: that Robert Moses was, for almost half a century, the single most powerful man of our time in New York, the shaper not only of the city’s politics but of its physical structure and the problems of urban decline that plague us today.
In revealing how Moses did it–how he developed his public authorities into a political machine that was virtually a fourth branch of government, one that could bring to their knees Governors and Mayors (from La Guardia to Lindsay) by mobilizing banks, contractors, labor unions, insurance firms, even the press and the Church, into an irresistible economic force–Robert Caro reveals how power works in all the cities of the United States. Moses built an empire and lived like an emperor. He personally conceived and completed public works costing 27 billion dollars–the greatest builder America (and probably the world) has ever known. Without ever having been elected to office, he dominated the men who were–even his most bitter enemy, Franklin D. Roosevelt, could not control him–until he finally encountered, in Nelson Rockefeller, the only man whose power (and ruthlessness in wielding it) equalled his own.