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
“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)
Fascinating moments interspersed with mind-numbing detail. Much of the descriptive detail would have been more interesting with images.
Really enjoyed the content, but had to speed the pace. Seemed this one dragged a bit. Learned a lot... Good if you wanted to learn more about a bridge and an engineer who both have an interesting story.
A great history that all Americans should know. The Roeblings set what ethical businesses should look like....today we try to reinvent the wheel, but all we have to do is to look at this example.
Loved this book with all of the politics and machinations of 19th century New York City and the rest of the country.
This was a great story of how one America's great wonders was built. David McCullough has a way of making history very intersesting. I have never listened to or read any of his books but now I look forward to listening to all his books.
Success, cost, ambition
The opening ceremony, which isn't a clever answer, I realize. The ceremonies were so grand, and described in such detail I can picture them now.
I love Emily Warren Roebling. I wish I could find more information about her. She is such an inspiration to me.
Several. In suspense: bringing the line over the river the first time. In sorrow: at the death of John Roebling. In astonishment: at the political corruption of the time. In admiration: Washington Roebling's undying courage and confidence.
If this book sounds at all interesting to you, read it. It's marvelous. If a 27 hour long audio book about a bridge sounds monotonous, skip it. Although, McCullough brilliantly brings in the surrounding world, this book isn't for everyone. I loved it.
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