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.
This outstanding audio adaptation brings to life the Herculean struggles behind the creation of one of this country's most recognizable and enduring landmarks. Herrmann's rich, expressive voice perfectly complements McCullough's stately language, and the combination of their talents coupled with the impressiveness of the engineering marvel that is the Brooklyn Bridge makes this a compulsive listen. Subtle changes in Herrmann's tone clearly set off quotations without interrupting the flow, and though this audiobook is abridged, the deleted segments are briefly summarized by an unobtrusive second narrator so that listeners never feel as if they're missing part of the story. While there are some descriptions of the 13-year construction process that would have benefited from illustrations, the production as a whole is superb. Listeners cannot help being moved by the grandeur of the structure and by the spectacular risks taken by the men who worked on it, particularly chief engineer Washington Roebling, who remained the driving force behind the bridge despite being crippled by the bends and bedridden for many years. Drama of every kind can be found here: political scandals, intense rivalries, extreme loyalty, a charming love story, heroism, spectacular near-disasters, death, illness and war. Once called the eighth wonder of the world, the Brooklyn Bridge still inspires artists and photographers, tourists and natives alike, and it is the only stone-towered, steel-cabled bridge in the world. In this excellent production, listeners will be inspired anew. Based on the S&S hardcover.
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.