The narrative’s sheer bulk will likely intimidate some readers, and that would be a shame, because Sagalyn has produced a...

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POWER AT GROUND ZERO

POLITICS, MONEY, AND THE REMAKING OF LOWER MANHATTAN

A superbly qualified scholar thoroughly deconstructs the tortured story behind the rebuilding of the World Trade Center complex.

Fundamentally, the resurrection of the site in Lower Manhattan destroyed by the 9/11 attacks was a public/private real estate development project, albeit a vast, complicated, and hugely expensive one. Of course, the traumatic event that necessitated the rebuilding supercharged the atmosphere surrounding all the decision-makers: a private, lease-holding developer, New York’s governor, the city’s mayor, and the Port Authority, the bistate agency that owned the property. These players and a host of lesser but still formidable participants—world-class architects, security experts, the victims’ families—all jostled for power, engaged in a protracted, elaborate game of “pick-up-sticks” where no decision could be made without affecting something else on the site. An aggressive, opinion-shaping press looked on. As she maneuvers through the 15-year rebuilding effort, Sagalyn (Real Estate/Columbia Univ. Business School; Times Square Roulette: Remaking the City Icon, 2001, etc.) keeps the many strands of this story expertly in hand: the legal, economic, and commercial realities; the shifting alliances and balance of power; the political and public relations dynamics regarding property and contract rights; the interdependencies among the parties; the clashing egos and ambitions of the scores of principal actors. Objectively and assuredly, Sagalyn chronicles hundreds of episodes within this immense story of the messy, sometimes seemingly leaderless rebuilding effort. From the dry and legalistic but vital issue of whether the leaseholder could make good on his “two-occurrence” insurance claim to the political controversy over establishing a cultural presence at the site to the mundane but essential matters of infrastructure and transportation to the emotionally charged question of how to display the victims’ names on the panels surrounding memorial waterfalls on the tower “footprints,” the author neatly handles every challenge posed by this multidimensional saga.

The narrative’s sheer bulk will likely intimidate some readers, and that would be a shame, because Sagalyn has produced a definitive history and an urban studies classic.

Pub Date: Sept. 9, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-19-060702-5

Page Count: 992

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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