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Robert Moses, Power, and the Powerless
The Mathew "Mike" Gladstein Lecture in Biography
Robert A. Caro
Tue, October 13th, 2015 | 6:30 pm
(Members $32)

Note: This event is sold out




“In that moment I knew that if I wanted to write about power, I would have to write about the powerless as well, would have to write not only about the man who wielded power, but about its effect—for good or ill—on those on whom it was wielded.”

Robert A. Caro recounts an incident that occurred while he was writing his biography of Robert Moses, The Power Broker, which suddenly made him understand his book had to be very different from the one he had started out to write and that changed his views on the very nature of political biography.

For his biographies of Robert Moses and Lyndon Johnson, Robert A. Caro has won the Pulitzer Prize twice, the National Book Critics Circle Award three times, and virtually every other major literary honor, including the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the National Humanities Medal.

“Robert Caro is regarded by many as the greatest political biographer of the modern era.” —The Times (London)

Acclaim for The Power Broker, an American classic:

  • Selected by Modern Library as one of the 100 greatest nonfiction books of the 20th century.
  • Selected by Time magazine as one of the 100 greatest nonfiction books of all time.
  • “Surely the greatest book ever written about a city.” —David Halberstam
  • “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.” —President Barack Obama


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


This program has reached capacity. There will be a standby line the evening of the program. One hour before the program begins, we will begin handing out standby numbers with members receiving priority. Shortly before the program begins, we would begin selling tickets if we are able to do so. Standby does not guarantee admission.

Advance purchase is required to guarantee seating. All sales are final and payments cannot be refunded. No exchanges are permitted. Programs and dates may be subject to change. Management reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers.

Creative: Tronvig Group