We all have ideas, and some even get to create a vision, but unless you have power it will die. For example, Steve Jobs didn't get Apple to be the most valuable company in world because they out innovated others. It was because he had power to drive his vision. If you want to understand power, read this book, since it is so well written and researched. You get the feeling that Caro knew Moses better than he.
This book should be studied, not read. It has lot in it to digest and will take a long time to finish. Caro is a great biographer (he is the author of LBJ biography). He makes Moses so alive that you get to know him well, and even start thinking like him. Moses, for his many flaws, also had many great attributes that Caro also covers, such as his intelligence, drive, athleticism, work ethic, passion, creativity, innovativeness, etc.
Most people who obtain power will gloss over on how they obtained power and only reveal the positives so we all end up thinking that powerful got there because they just did everything according to the "book." What you find out in this book is that powerful people make their own rules.
This books uncovers the hard truth about power.
Let me state this bluntly that all powerful people are certified "axxholes." Nobody gives you power charitably, you have to work hard and ruthlessly to acquire it, and being nice does not fast track you to getting power; it makes you irrelevant quickly.
This book provides you a birds eye view of how this man achieved power, what he was able to do with power, how he masterfully kept on gaining more power and ultimately how he lost it.
The sad part of Moses life was when he got old. He loved building bridges and highways so much that he allowed himself being hoodwinked by Nelson Rockefeller into thinking that he was going to get a seat on the Board of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) that resulted from the merger of various Public Authorities.
He never got that and was given some powerless consultant position that just "killed" him.
After reading this book, one is likely to get very deep insight into how people acquire power and get addicted to power and ultimately get destroyed by continued lust for more power. People with power never know when to give it up, and end up losing it ignobly.
The last part of the book kind of reminds me of the way of the story of Joe Paterno in that he could never walk away from power and now is viewed as a pitiful character, who never cared about others in order to keep power. Similarly, Moses was also blinded by power and didn't care for ordinary people. People did not matter, just satisfying his obsession is all he cared for.
I highly recommend this book since it will help you understand powerful people and all their strengths and weaknesses.
Jay Oza is a founder and principal innovation development consultant at 5ToolGroup, a company that specializes in helping startups and established firms bring innovation to market within 90 days through our unique 5Tool Methodology that integrates sales, marketing, partnerships, customer development and agile/lean methodology to enable frugal or ("Jugaad") innovation. We believe that to succeed today, you have to continuously look for ways todo lot more with lot less. This is the only way to win today.