The Great Bridge

The Great Bridge

The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

Book - 2001
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This monumental book tells the enthralling story of one of the greatest accomplishments in our nation's history, the building of what was then the longest suspension bridge in the world. The Brooklyn Bridge rose out of the expansive era following the Civil War, when Americans believed all things were possible.So daring a concept as spanning the East River to join two great cities required vision and dedication of the kind that went into building Europe's great cathedrals. During fourteen years of construction, the odds against success seemed overwhelming. Thousands of people were put to work. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, notorious political empires fell, and surges of public doubt constantly threatened the project. But the story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge is not just the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time, replete with heroes and rascals who helped either to construct or to exploit the great enterprise. The Great Bridge is also the story of a remarkable family, the Roeblings, who conceived and executed the audacious engineering plan at great personal cost. Without John Roebling's vision, his son Washington's skill and courage, and Washington's wife Emily's dedication, the bridge we know and cherish would never have been built. Like the engineering marvel it describes, The Great Bridge, republished on the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, has stood the test of time.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Simon & Schuster, c2001
ISBN: 9780743217378
0743217373
Branch Call Number: 624.5097471 McCu
Characteristics: 608 p. : ill. ; 24 cm. --

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rpavlacic
Mar 04, 2016

The test of how good a book is and can be is if it remains in print more than 40 years after its initial publication. Such is the case with "The Great Bridge". David McCullough has written a wonderful tale about the epic 14 year megaproject, the colourful characters involved (not the least of whom involved Boss Tweed and the rest of the gang at Tammany Hall), and two engineers - the father, John Roebling, who didn't even see the first year of the bridge construction, and his son, Washington, to whom it was left to see the project through. One surprising revelation about the bridge's design is that it is not strictly a suspension bridge but a hybrid between suspension and cable stayed, which work in tandem to give the bridge strength and redundancy; which helps explains its webbed cable design and why the bridge remains standing more than 130 years after its completion in 1883. This was McCullough's second book, after "The Johnstown Flood", and it is certainly one of his best.

r
Rainman
Mar 05, 2015

A challenging read at times unless you are into politics or engineering, but quite a biography on Washington Roebling, his wife, and his father. The story is truly about the bridge, though, the "eighth wonder of the world." Count the years and lives that it took and compare to today's major construction projects. This book includes some fantastic pictures, including one of the NYC skyline when the New York tower of the bridge was its tallest structure.

yogacookie Aug 14, 2013

I love Non-fiction because it is real. This is very well written and in addition to holding your attention teaches some NY history. If you are a New Yorker, or have been, or will be, please read!

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Rainman
Mar 05, 2015

If the grumblers and those with "axes to grind" would let the work alone, they might wake up some morning and find it completed...

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