An absolutely fascinating account of the politics, financing, innovations, personal courage, engineering, tragedy and determination involved in the 14 year trip to completion. This story is guaranteed to cause you to look at any bridge or other great structure with a new set of insights and awe. I spent lots of time in the shadow of this bridge near City Hall Park and now I will not feel complete until I walk across it and see the vista of New York harbor from the vantage point offered only from the main span.
Great read. Very techinical, so a little hard to get through sometimes, but VERY educational and interesting. Glad I read it.
No one can write a non-fiction story like David McCullough! At first, I thought he started a little too far back; however, the reasoning became obvious before long. This wasnt just the story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge; it was the story of an age the Age of Optimism.
It is a tale of the social climate that promoted and then threatened the completion of this 14 year masterpiece. A telling comment was offered early in the story; when engineers went over the Brooklyn Bridge (after many, many years) to determine what repairs were necessary; they all agreed that the bridge needed a fresh coat of paint! It is a tribute to the Roebling family that their creation was so sound that it needed little to continue its crucial place in New York-Brooklyn commerce and life into the next century.
This is an extensive history; at times I thought there was a bit too much detail. However, the author magically wove together the scoundrels with the heroes/heroine and the important time in which this bridge was undertaken to create a fascinating history. To me, it seemed to be the story of a miracle!
Ive never had any interest in going to New York or Brooklyn; after reading this opus, I can hardly wait to go!
History that reads like a great novel.
This is such a good story and very well-written.
Beautiful Gift copy! This is one of the best books that I have ever read.Beginning with the dad architect dying at the beginning of the bridge in 1870, with his reluctant architect son taking over. This bridge is in excellent condition and still being used by auto traffic today which it was not designed for. This bridge should be one of the wonders of the modern world. Beginning with the supporting pylons going deep into the earth below the river bottom in shafts some died of the bends. That was the most dangerous part some lives were lost in the above ground buildings. Over the 14 year construction period political empires fell.This is also a sweeping narrative of the social climate and the heroes, including the architect's wife whom was a wise, smart and powerful woman who saved her husband by her sheer nerve. This book is a super drama of the time period of 1870-1884. I could not put this book down.