Beane says that Gratz uses the story as a launching pad to make recommendations for the future of New York in the shadow of these two giants.
Beane writes, "If the 'master builder' is the villain of this story, Jacobs is clearly its hero. And yet, as Gratz sees it, Jacobs's message is today widely misinterpreted as favoring an anti-growth and anti-change agenda; if they could, her critics say, preservationists would embalm the city. But Gratz argues that Jacobs's ideas were never meant as narrow prescriptions of architectural type, or to impede new development unconditionally. She suggests that Jacobs's teachings are less specific design formulas than general guidelines."