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Publisher Description

The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough.

This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation’s history, during the Age of Optimism—a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all things were possible.

In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the great cathedrals. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or exploiting the surpassing enterprise.

May 31
Simon & Schuster
Simon & Schuster Canada

Customer Reviews

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The Great Bridge

This could quite possibly be the best book I've ever read. I had no idea of the work that went into the making of this work of art-this engineering marvel. Soon after the completion of this bridge, which took 14 years, it was called the eighth wonder of the world. David McCullough has given a thorough, vivid and complete insight into all phases of the work...from the caissons, to the towers, the anchorages at each end of the structure, the cable, the walkway and the final decking. The author explains the different characters, some very sketchy, in detail, who were players in the bridge construction. But no player was more important than Washington Roebling, the Chief Engineer. The story of this bridge is inexorably linked to this man, who really devoted his whole life to it. His wife, Emily was also instrumental in the completion of this miraculous feat of engineering, and you will have to read this book to see why.

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