Reviews

  • "Simply one of the best non-fiction books in English of the past 40 years ... There has probably never been a better dissection of political power ... From the first page ... you know that you are in the hands of a master ... riveting ... superb ... not just a stunning portrait of perhaps the most influential builder in world history ... but an object lesson in the dangers of power"

    Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times
  • "One of the great biographies of all time ... [by] one of the great reporters of our time ... and probably the greatest biographer. He is also an extraordinary writer. After reading page 136 of his book The Power Broker, I gasped and read it again, then again. This, I thought, is how it should be done ... said to be one of the greatest nonfiction works ever written ... Every MP, wonk and would-be wonk in Westminster has read [Robert Caro's The Years of Lyndon Johnson], because they think it is the greatest insight into power ever written. They’re nearly right: it’s the second greatest after The Power Broker"

    Bryan Appleyard, Sunday Times
  • "I think about Robert Caro and reading The Power Broker back when I was 22 years old and just being mesmerized, and I'm sure it helped to shape how I think about politics"

    Barack Obama
  • "This is irresistibly readable, an outright masterpiece and unparalleled insight into how power works and perhaps the greatest portrait ever of a world city"

    David Sexton, Evening Standard
  • "A stupendous achievement ... Caro's style is gripping, indeed hypnotic, and he squeezes every ounce of drama from his remarkable story … Can a democracy combine visionary leadership with effective checks and balances to contain the misuse of power? No book illustrates this fundamental dilemma of democracy better than The Power Broker ... Indeed, no student of government can regard his education as complete until he has read it"

    Vernon Bogdanor, Independent
  • "Remarkable … we learn as much about the intoxication and addiction of power as we do about the bureaucratic titan whose imprint on New York bears comparison with his only modern equivalent, the smasher and rebuilder of Paris, Baron Haussmann … [with] his detailed reporting and rhythmic prose, his great acuity for understanding and describing the nuances of politics and power … [Robert Caro] has no contemporary rivals"

    John R MacArthur, Spectator
  • "Monumental … extraordinary … The writing never flags. The detail is never irrelevant. The sheer relentlessness has a mesmeric quality. The character sketches … are wonderful … the way in which he shows how power is attained and how it can corrupt [is] fascinating … This book has helped change the way history is written"

    Daniel Finkelstein, The Times
  • "An epic, meticulously detailed study of power in general: how it’s acquired, how it’s used to change history, how it ultimately corrupts those who get it ... Masterfully, Caro shows how Moses transformed New York in ways both progressive and backward, benign and cruel ... as an account of how power and ambition shape the urban environment, The Power Broker has yet to be beaten"

    Oliver Burkeman, Guardian
  • "The story of how Robert Moses made and broke people and places is astonishing. It comes so highly recommended that it is unignorable"

    Jeremy Paxman, Observer
  • "A truly exceptional achievement … Important, awesome, compelling … extraordinary on many levels and certain to endure"

    Washington Post