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“I hate the government for making my life absurd.”

August 5, 2009, 2:36 pm

Jane Jacobs’s Death and Life of American Cities remains one of my favorite books ever. I first read it when I was doing research for the final chapter — on the fight over a proposed Mississippi riverfront expressway — of my New Orleans project. At the time, I remember being frustrated that nobody had written a biography of Jacobs, a niche since filled by this book. More annoying, I thought, was Robert Caro’s decision to write Jacobs out of The Power Broker, his evisceration of Robert Moses. Now, apparently, this deals with Jacobs’s relationship with Moses. Hurrah, all is right with the world! And really, if you’ve never read Jacobs, and you like cities at all, you should rush right out to the library.

Oh, the quote is from Jacobs, who, having grown tired of Moses, moved to Toronto for some peace and quiet. There, of course, she remained an urban crusader, fighting bad planning wherever she found it. I ♥ Jane Jacobs.

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