The Great Bridge

The Great Bridge

Book - 1982
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"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 successfull 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."--P. [4] of cover.
Publisher: New York : Simon and Schuster, 1982, c1972.
Edition: 1st Touchstone ed.
ISBN: 9780743217378
Call Number: TECHNOLOGY/Engineering
Characteristics: 636 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Subjects: Engineering -- United States.
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.)


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Nov 22, 2019

Ottawa library used to own the audiobook version of this. It was one of the best audiobooks I've ever heard. Great narrator made the technical bits very clear and interesting. I wish they would replace it / buy it again.

jruizalvarez Jan 23, 2019

The whole story about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, with all of the good and the bad. This extraordinary feat of human achievement has been a part of my life since I was a child growing up in Brooklyn NY and I never tire of reading about it.

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.

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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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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