ARRAY(0xa82ea2e8)
 
Customer Review

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars an interesting polemic on urban policy, New York, and the Rockefellers, 27 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Assassination of New York (Hardcover)
THis book is definitely worth a skim. The basic thesis of the author, who is a kind of radical populist, is that the Rockefellers pursued a certain urban policy for New York because they wanted to enhance the real estate value of that great albatros, the Rockefeller Center. According to Fitch, it was a bad investment that tied them all down financially, so they used the political system - all the while posing as Republican champions of the free market - to boost the price of their holdings. This involved, he argues, the collusion of Wall Street financiers, the Insurance companies, and real estate moguls. Amazingly, with the sale to Mitsubishi in the late 1980s for $3 billion, they succeeded in a multi-generational conspiracy to do so.

According to FItch, the Rockefeller Center was a bad idea: without good transport, it was hard to fill the office space created, hence there was over-capacity; the timing (1928) couldn't have been worse; it was on the wrong side of the city, i.e. the west, which the rich avoided; they didn't own the ground, which was what appreciated much more than the buildings. To overcome this, they plotted to raise the real estate values of the island, essentially making it a kind of elite haven for rich string pullers and getting rid of the working class and manufacturing. While bad for the city - it was an unsustainable model that kept the tax base too low - it did help them to get rid of the Center. To conclude, he says they were trying to make an elite city like Babylon (governing provinces on the outside, getting tribute, and keeping workers like peasants down or outside), that this "post-industrial" model has nothing new to it whatsoever. He thinks that a more balanced approach to the city is needed, with attention to and respect for the working class in order to make it a more balanced community with a sustainable base.

To be honest, I do not know enough about urban policies to evaluate his ideas, but I found them intriguing and will explore them further. The book is not always easy to follow: Fitch makes many asides that can be very personal, throws in acronyms constantly, and refers to many things of which I was ignorant. It is also 20 years old, so out of date. That being said, I lived in NYC at the tail end of the time he describes and, if he is correct, it explains an awful lot about what I observed then.

REcommended. But it is only a start.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

3.0 out of 5 stars (1 customer review)
5 star:    (0)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:
 (1)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
Used & New from: 1.65
Add to wishlist
Reviewer


Location: Balmette Talloires, France

Top Reviewer Ranking: 799