99% Invisible: The Power Broker #2: Jamelle Bouie
February 16, 2024 11:19 AM - Subscribe

This is the second official episode, breaking down the 1974 Pulitzer Prize winning book, The Power Broker by our hero Robert Caro. New York Times political columnist Jamelle Bouie is our book club guest.On today's show, Elliott Kalan and Roman Mars will cover Part 3 of the book (Chapters 6 through the end of Chapter 10), discussing the major story beats and themes, with occasional asides from Jamelle Bouie guiding us through the politics of the era.

That was the official description. I add: are you already behind in your reading? Don't worry about it! Janelle Bouie hasn't read the book at all and he's a guest! This episode gives useful background and context for those of us who are catching up.
posted by The corpse in the library (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As a big fan of both Elliott Kalan and Jamelle Bouie (who are also mutually fans of each other, as Bouie is The Flop House Podcast's resident hedgehog correspondent.) the latter showing up has increased my curiosity to check out their coverage of The Power Broker, in spite of already having a full plate of both podcasts and leisure reading. I'm glad to know that I don't necessarily need to have read the book because the length seems quite daunting, made even more daunting by the apparent lack of an ebook version (at least for now), which makes it hard for somebody like me who mostly reads on the run.
posted by Strange Interlude at 12:46 PM on February 16 [2 favorites]

The podcast serves to keep me on track out of guilt, at least, but there’s so many parallels to the current environment in these chapters that it’s disappointing the podcasters aren’t going into them:
  • Tammany Hall crony politics vs Trump
  • gilded age Robber Baron disregard for the public good vs Musk/Thiel/Bezos/Zuckerberg
  • appropriation powers of the NY Parks Commission vs eminent domain
  • etc.
Reading this book is simultaneously a delight at the writing and an outrage at the various machinations of “the interests”.
posted by cardboard at 7:56 AM on February 19

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