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The Great Bridge Audiobook
The Great Bridge
Written by: 
David McCullough
Narrated by: 
Nelson Runger
 >   > 
The Great Bridge Audiobook

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

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Publisher's Summary

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 14 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 40th anniversary of its initial publication, has stood the test of time.

Please note: The Great Bridge (Unabridged) is available for just one credit until June 20, 2012, after which point it will be priced at two credits.

©2007 David McCullough (P)2012 Simon & Schuster

What the Critics Say

“The impact of the soaring structure upon the American imagination and American life has now been measured with sagacity and style by David McCullough....The Great Bridge is a book so compelling and complete as to be a literary monument, one of the best books I have read in years. McCullough has written that sort of work which brings us to the human center of the past.” (Robert Kirsch, Los Angeles Times)

"The Great Bridge is a great book. . . . What David McCullough has written is a stupendous narrative about the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, with a cast of thousands (give or take 100), whose major characters come alive on the page as authentically, as creatively, as would their fictional counterparts if one had the imagination to dream up such a yarn. Once again, truth is not only stranger than fiction but a hell of a lot more entertaining. Get your hands on The Great Bridge...This is the definitive book on the event. Do not wait for a better try: there won't be any.” (Norman Rosten, Newsday)

“David McCullough has taken a dramatic and colorful episode out of the American past and described it in such a way that he sheds fresh light on a whole era in American history.” (Bruce Catton)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (814 )
5 star
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4.4 (713 )
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Story
4.4 (716 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    George Hudson, NH, United States 05-25-16
    George Hudson, NH, United States 05-25-16 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wake me when it's over"
    What would have made The Great Bridge better?

    A different narrator. One with some semblance of life in his voice that could read at a more normal pace.


    What could David McCullough have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Fired the narrator


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Nelson Runger?

    David McCullough


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Great Bridge?

    Condense some of the biographical information about the myriads of players. Then again this material may seem to be going on so long becasue of the shortcomings of the narator.


    Any additional comments?

    I cannot review the story or give an accuratereview of this book because I am still listening to it. I have been istening for a few days and it feels like weeks. I listened to The Wright Brothers and enjoyed it very much. The only thing wrong was that I did not think McCullough was a great narrator. I didn't think there could be a poorer choice of narrator until I started listening to The Great Bridge. Nelson Runger is just so boring and dry. He is no different from readers you might hear on a local radio station that features people slowly reading news stories to the elderly and blind. I am considering retunring this audio book and buying it to read becasue I am really interested in the story. I don't think I can take much more of Runger. If I do listen to the whole thng I'll upate this review.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David A. Markley 05-24-16 Member Since 2013

    PlusDavid

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    6
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    "More a story of an era than of a bridge"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this reading and the overall story. I did wonder at points why so much detail was given, but it was not so much as to become bored. It just seemed sometimes more than necessary.

    As with many of this author's books, the story tells more about the age and the circumstances than the central character. If the central character here was the bridge and its chief engineer, the story simply used them as the constants as it moved through time from a very much agrarian America to the real start of the industrial revolution.

    What an age that must have been.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    charles mueller 05-16-16 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    1
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    "Runger"

    While I appreciate that the bombast and rhetoric of two centuries ago can sound a little foolish, the reader makes rather too much fun of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gregory G. 05-05-16
    Gregory G. 05-05-16 Member Since 2015

    I love a good U.S. history biography

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "More about people than the bridge"

    I enjoyed the story. It entertained me. It was as much to me about the people as it was about the bridge. I now appreciate the Brooklyn Bridge tremendously more and I visited it twice while I was listening to this audio book. That was great too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Grove City, PA, United States 04-18-16
    Howard Grove City, PA, United States 04-18-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Live forever David McCullough"

    I keep getting this man's books. I have not been disappointed yet. While his work may be too rich in detail for some, I find it hard to be critical of good sound knowledge of what happened.during important events such as the building of this landmark bridge. The account of how they struggled with the effects of high pressure while being ignorant of those dangers is enlightening. One learns much from honest descriptions of people working under the burden of ignorance. Only time will tell what we are even now ignorant about. I was constantly in awe of Roebling's willingness to stake so much on him and his father's skill and knowledge. Had they been wrong about any number of things the whole project would have become a disaster. It was a solo effort and solo glory. Bully for them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet 03-16-16
    Janet 03-16-16 Listener Since 2005

    blazin48

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    67
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    "Good listen!"

    There was a lot of detailed information throughout the book which helped in understanding the processes it took to build the Brooklyn Bridge. It amazes me to think how thing were done over 100 years ago!! Recommend to anyone..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Condon Bellevue, WA 12-04-15
    Thomas Condon Bellevue, WA 12-04-15 Member Since 2016

    Film boomer

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "With apologies to David McCullough"

    Interesting account of the construction of an American icon.

    It was a little dry at times and I resisted the urge to either skip forward or delete the audio book in its entirety. As it was, I completed about 90% and then put it down, feeling that this read was more an educational treatise than a captivating page-turner.

    David McCullough is an iconic writer whose work I admire. That said, I'll just put this one down to "great research! Moderately put together".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Artem 10-28-15
    Artem 10-28-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Book"

    This is my third book that I have read by David McCullough. The other two being the Wright Brothers and Johnstown Flood. All three of these books have been great. This one in particular has very interesting. Teaching not only about the Brooklyn Bridge but also about things going on around that time. Highly recommended book. David McCullough is quickly becoming my favorite author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R H II Boulder, CO USA 10-07-15
    R H II Boulder, CO USA 10-07-15 Member Since 2014

    Stinky Pete

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    "An absolute joy to listen to."

    Well researched and read. I have learned and was entertained. If you like history and industry listen this book is perfect

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer New Bern, NC 10-05-15
    Amazon Customer New Bern, NC 10-05-15 Member Since 2006

    Professor

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    "Engaging history"

    it's amazing that a book about the building of a bridge can be totally engaging and fun. This one is all that and more. A wonderful history of the time and politics in New York along with the story of an engineering marvel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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