Revered and reviled in almost equal amounts since its inception, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been responsible for creating and maintaining much of New York and New Jersey's transportation infrastructure -- the things that make the region work. Doig traces the evolution of the Port Authority from the battles leading to its creation in 1921 through its conflicts with the railroads and its expansion to build bridges and tunnels for motor vehicles. Chronicling the adroit maneuvers that led the Port Authority to take control of the region's airports and seaport operations, build the largest bus terminal in the nation, and construct the World Trade Center, Doig reveals the rise to power of one of the world's largest specialized regional governments.
This definitive history of the Port Authority underscores the role of several key players -- Austin Tobin, the obscure lawyer who became Executive Director and a true "power broker" in the bi-state region, Julius Henry Cohen, general counsel of the Port Authority for its first twenty years, and Othmar H. Ammann, the Swiss engineer responsible for the George Washington Bridge, the Bayonne and Goethels bridges, the Outerbridge Crossing, and the Lincoln Tunnel.
Today, with public works projects stalled by community opposition in almost every village and city, the story of how the Port Authority managed to create an empire on the Hudson offers lessons for citizens and politicians everywhere.
Doig's precision and thoroughness are valuable. His passion for the role of public building in urban life... is evident... He writes with a detachment that gives him an authority over the subject matter. New York Review of Books This stirring, keenly-written history is filled with insiders'details and jousts with mayors, governors, and even a president. Political Science Quarterly A fascinating organizational biography...For its behind-the-scenes views of two of the New York area's vital public structures, the George Washington Bridge and the Port Authority Bus Terminal, the book deserves a permanent place in every construction and engineering library. Engineering News Record This book is remarkable in the depth and scope of its research and in its narrative drive. The book deserves to be widely read, not only by New York historians but by all those interested in the role of government in improving American life.
|List of Illustrations in the Text||p. ix|
|Elected and Appointed Officials: Years in Office||p. xi|
|Preface: Hopes and Judgments||p. xix|
|A Wilsonian Hybrid: The Powers of Government and the Spirit of Capitalism||p. 1|
|Creating a New Institution|
|The Tensions and Opportunities of Federalism: Commercial Conflict in the New York Region||p. 27|
|Designing a New Organization: An Uneasy Marriage of Planning and Politics||p. 47|
|Failure and a New Beginning|
|Modernizing the Rail System: Contending Strategies for an Expanding Metropolis||p. 77|
|Negotiating with the Railroads: Regional Planning Confronts the Wary Capitalist||p. 97|
|Politics and Engineering Passion: Expanding the Port Authority's Dreams||p. 120|
|A Web of Bridges, Tunnels, and Political Intrigue||p. 143|
|Drift and the Sources of Renewal|
|Near Bankruptcy and the Loss of Vision||p. 181|
|Federalism as a Lawyers' Playground||p. 192|
|The Threat to Municipal Bonds as Danger and Opportunity||p. 214|
|To Claim the Skies and the Seas||p. 247|
|Breaking an Airline Monopoly||p. 288|
|More Than "A Humdrum Job of Engineering": Creating a Giant Bus Station in Manhattan||p. 315|
|A Regional Empire in American Politics: Local History and Its Impact, Leadership Strategies, and Ethical Dilemmas||p. 359|
|Epilogue: Triumphs and Travails of an Aging Empire||p. 373|
|The Port Compact of 1921||p. 403|
|Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.|
Series: The Columbia History of Urban Life
For Ages: 22+ years old
Number Of Pages: 620
Published: 1st February 2001
Dimensions (cm): 23.3 x 15.9 x 4.1
Weight (kg): 0.99