CARO: It wasn't only those papers. There are other collections of papers. I found a memo that showed how Moses used public works to create and wield power. To us, a public work—a bridge, let's say—is a transportation device. To Robert Moses, a bridge was also a source of power. Every aspect of it was a source of power. For example, there was no terrorism then; the Triborough Bridge was not going to fall down. There's no risk. Whoever got to write the insurance policies on the structure would make a lot of money. So Moses would parcel out the policies to politicians who were insurance brokers on the basis of how many votes they controlled in Albany. I found memos in the Moses file that said just that: Jim Roe [a Democratic boss in Queens] has twelve votes in Albany. Give him 18 percent of the insurance premiums. So-and-so controls three votes. Give him 4 percent of the premiums. That sort of thing.
I read this Harper's Magazine article on Zinio and would like to share it with you!
Go digital at www.zinio.com