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

by David McCullough

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1,588354,590 (4.26)52
Member:drbowser
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
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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)
  2. 00
    A Clearing In The Distance: Frederick Law Olmsted and America in the 19th Century by Witold Rybczynski (Othemts)
  3. 00
    722 Miles: The Building of the Subways and How They Transformed New York by Clifton Hood (Othemts)
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    Boss Tweed: The Rise and Fall of the Corrupt Pol Who Conceived the Soul of Modern New York by Kenneth D. Ackerman (Othemts)
  5. 00
    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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    The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914 by David McCullough (John_Vaughan)
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    Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America by Henry Petroski (oregonobsessionz)
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What's the longest period that a book has been on your "to read" list before you actually read it? For me, it may be 33 years as I got a copy of this book around the time of the Brooklyn Bridge centennial in 1983, looked at the pictures a lot, but never got around to reading. Since my copy of the book is falling apart, I listened to it as an audiobook. It's a straightforward history of the planning, construction, and aftermath of Brooklyn Bridge and it's effect on the cities of New York and Brooklyn. Central to the story are three people: John Roebling - the great bridge builder who designed Brooklyn Bridge but died as construction was begining in 1869, Washington Roebling - who emerged from his father's shadow as chief engineer but suffered greatly from illness and injury that kept him away from the job site, and Emily Roebling - who stepped in to manage the chief engineer responsibilities when her husband was indisposed. The construction of Brooklyn Bridge faced many challenges including the physical demanding work of the laborers leading to injury and death (particularly the notorious caisson's disease), a rivalry with James Eads - then constructing a bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis, and the revelations of corruption of the Tweed Ring that were tied up in the bridge project. All three of these things lead to efforts to remove Washington Roebling that would be defeated. If there's one flaw to this book it's that McCullough tends to pile on the details and repeat himself in ways that make this a less engaging read than it could be, but otherwise it's a fascinating story of a significant monument in American history. ( )
1 vote Othemts | Jul 20, 2016 |
Thoroughly researched, compellingly written, the Great Bridge is a wondrous tale of man-made engineering in the late 19th century and the people who made the glorious Brooklyn Bridge happen, especially that of J.A. Roebling. ( )
  phoenixcomet | Jul 14, 2016 |
An excellent book. The writer takes the technical and makes it accessible. He rings the personalities to vibrant life. A great read. ( )
  Whiskey3pa | Jul 2, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
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
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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)

» see all 7 descriptions

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