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The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the…

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge (original 1972; edition 1983)

by David McCullough

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1,530324,802 (4.26)50
Title:The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
Authors:David McCullough
Info:Simon & Schuster (1983), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 562 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough (1972)

  1. 10
    Isambard Kingdom Brunel: Engineering Knight-Errant by Adrian Vaughan (John_Vaughan)
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    Conquering Gotham : a Gilded Age epic : the construction of Penn Station and its tunnels by Jill Jonnes (rakerman)
    rakerman: Conquering Gotham tells the story of the PRR tunnels under the North River and (to a lesser extent) the LIRR tunnels under the East River. The Great Bridge tells the story of the bridge over the East River. Although the bridge is finished before the tunnels begin, they touch on similar industrial history and a similar period in New York's history. The Great Bridge goes into more detail about the underwater work (the Brooklyn Bridge caissons) than Conquering Gotham does.… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
An epic story - and compelling even though it was historical. ( )
  cygnet81 | Jan 17, 2016 |
[The Great Bridge] is the story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge along with the politics and personalities involved. Interesting and entertaining except that John A. Roebling was hardly likable and some of the technical descriptions were tedious. ( )
  snash | Jan 9, 2016 |
I really wish I could give this book 5 stars, because it is a great book but it is just not as good some of my other favorite McCullough books. This book is about Washington Roebling and the process of constructing the Brooklyn Bridge. There are some fascinating stories and I really started to feel for Washington and his experiences. He went through so much and was so capable at overseeing the bridge work, yet at the same time was so incapable of taking care of himself.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it instilled a desire to go see the bridge itself one day. ( )
  JaredChristopherson | Nov 16, 2015 |
Epic retelling of the construction of what at its time was an unprecedented feat of civil engineering. McCullough presents technical details in an accessible manner while also exploring the New York City and the Brooklyn of the period, including the political considerations which hampered progress on the project. More than anything, though, the book is the story of the three individuals who brought the project to fulfillment.
The original plans were laid by John Roebling, a German-born wire manufacturer whose genius led him to design and build multiple suspension bridges. But early in the construction process, a workplace accident cost him the toes of one foot. Tetanus set in, and he died a terrible death.
Upon John's death, his son (Washington Roebling) was promoted to replace him as Principle Engineer. Many think that his father had planned to eventually put his son (an engineering graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute) in charge all along. But the younger Roebling became a housebound invalid following a bad experience of decompression sickness. Nevertheless, he continued to manage the construction from his sickroom.
Washington's wife, Emily Roebling, provided invaluable assistance in mediating between him, his assistant engineers, and the Board of Directors. ( )
  dickmanikowski | Jun 6, 2015 |
The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
The making of the Brooklyn Bridge. Interesting story of how this all came about, who was involved and in what capacity.
Liked this book a lot for all that was involved in it and learning of the builders other works.

I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device). ( )
  jbarr5 | Apr 23, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 32 (next | show all)
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It so happens that the work which is likely to be our most durable monument, and to convey some knowledge of us to the most remote posterity, is a work of bare utility; not a shrine, not a fortress, not a palace, but a bridge.- Montgomery Schuyler in Harper's Weekly, May 24, 1883
For my mother and father
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They met at his request on at least six different occasions, beginning in February 1869.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 067145711X, Paperback)

In the 19th century, the Brooklyn Bridge was viewed as the greatest engineering feat of mankind. The Roeblings--father and son--toiled for decades, fighting competitors, corrupt politicians, and the laws of nature to fabricate a bridge which, after 100 years, still provides one of the major avenues of access to one of the world's busiest cities--as compared to many bridges built at the same time which collapsed within decades or even years. It is refreshing to read such a magnificent story of real architecture and engineering in an era where these words refer to tiny bits and bytes that inspire awe only in their abstract consequences, and not in their tangible physical magnificence.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:11 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

A detailed account of the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge providing background on its engineering history as well as the political and social climate of the late-nineteenth century.

(summary from another edition)

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