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Empire on the Hudson : Entrepreneurial Vision and Political Power at the Port of New York Authority - Jameson W. Doig

Empire on the Hudson

Entrepreneurial Vision and Political Power at the Port of New York Authority

Hardcover

Published: 1st February 2001
For Ages: 22+ years old
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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 Textp. ix
Elected and Appointed Officials: Years in Officep. xi
Forewordp. xv
Preface: Hopes and Judgmentsp. xix
A Wilsonian Hybrid: The Powers of Government and the Spirit of Capitalismp. 1
Creating a New Institution
The Tensions and Opportunities of Federalism: Commercial Conflict in the New York Regionp. 27
Designing a New Organization: An Uneasy Marriage of Planning and Politicsp. 47
Failure and a New Beginning
Modernizing the Rail System: Contending Strategies for an Expanding Metropolisp. 77
Negotiating with the Railroads: Regional Planning Confronts the Wary Capitalistp. 97
Politics and Engineering Passion: Expanding the Port Authority's Dreamsp. 120
A Web of Bridges, Tunnels, and Political Intriguep. 143
Drift and the Sources of Renewal
Near Bankruptcy and the Loss of Visionp. 181
Federalism as a Lawyers' Playgroundp. 192
The Threat to Municipal Bonds as Danger and Opportunityp. 214
Expanding Empire
To Claim the Skies and the Seasp. 247
Breaking an Airline Monopolyp. 288
More Than "A Humdrum Job of Engineering": Creating a Giant Bus Station in Manhattanp. 315
Conclusions
A Regional Empire in American Politics: Local History and Its Impact, Leadership Strategies, and Ethical Dilemmasp. 359
Epilogue: Triumphs and Travails of an Aging Empirep. 373
The Port Compact of 1921p. 403
Notesp. 411
Acknowledgmentsp. 555
Indexp. 561
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780231076760
ISBN-10: 0231076762
Series: The Columbia History of Urban Life
Audience: Professional
For Ages: 22+ years old
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 620
Published: 1st February 2001
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 16.0  x 3.8
Weight (kg): 1.0