The Spectator has just published an article about New York City “master planner” Robert Moses, “the psychopath who wrecked New York” back in the 1950s. Moses wanted to “modernize” the city, i.e., bulldoze miles of classic architecture and replace it with modern skyscrapers connected by highways. In the process, he destroyed a lot of neighborhoods and replaced them with malfunctioning public housing.
Per the article, a play is in the works on Robert Moses. “Though there is talk of a Netflix series, there is still no film about this extraordinary man. The Bridge Theatre, however, has taken up his story. Nicholas Hytner is directing a new play the theatre has commissioned from David Hare. ‘It’s the greatest work of non-fiction I’ve ever read,’ says Hytner of Caro’s book. ‘The first thing you realise is that there isn’t a play in the Caro book because it’s just too immense. The play David has written is narratively narrower than the book. It’s about who Moses is, what he stands for, and what might resonate for audiences today.’ Ralph Fiennes will play Moses. Hytner reckons ‘that slightly mad glint in his eye’ should come in useful. Hare, incidentally, has form at writing villains.”
Per the Coolidge Corner Theater, the play is entitled Straight Line Crazy.
As it happens, there’s a great documentary about Robert Moses’ chief opponent — Jane Jacobs, a journalist turned activist credited with saving some of the most iconic New York City neighborhood from his wrecking ball: Citizen Jane: Battle for the City. It’s included in the list of Top 25 Libertarian Documentaries.