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The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge Hardcover – 7 Jun 2012

4.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; Anniversary ed edition (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451683235
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451683233
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,362,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Los Angeles Times""The Great Bridge" is a book so compelling and complete as to be a literary monument...McCullough has written that sort of work which brings us to the human center of the past.

"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"

"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

"After reading David McCullough's account, you will never look at the old bridge in quite the same way again."
--Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "The New York Times"

"McCullough is one of our most gifted living writers."
--Marie Arana, "The Washington Post"

""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"

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"

After reading David McCullough s account, you will never look at the old bridge in quite the same way again.
Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, "The New York Times""

McCullough is one of our most gifted living writers.
Marie Arana, "The Washington Post""

About the Author

David McCullough is the author of several highly acclaimed works of biography and history including TRUMAN (for which he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1993), BRAVE COMPANIONS, THE GREAT BRIDGE and THE JONESTOWN FLOOD. He has also won the LOS ANGELES TIMES Book Award and is twice winner of the National Book Award.


Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to this book in 1985 and have, in the intervening 13 years, read it four times and given it as a gift in another dozen instances. McCullough does a superlative job weaving the social, political, and economic fibers of the times into a rich tapestry which seizes your attention and holds it for its more than 500 pages. He brings to life the famous, infamous, and little known rogues, ruffians, and heroes of that long past era when the Roeblings designed and built the bridge, Boss Tweed ran Tammany Hall, and Thomas Nast helped non-English speaking immigrants understand Tweed and company's sins. This book will, as it has with me, make you a lifelong, devoted McCullough advocate. Even though he won a Pulitzer for his Truman biography, "The Great Bridge" is his finest hour!!!
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Format: Paperback
Even from the other side of the Atlantic McCullough's story was so evocative of it's era that I feel I now know that part of NY's history like a native.
The tale is told with due reverence to the technical background, political machinations and Victorian era sensibilities. Attempting to weave into this the human story of the people involved also gives drama and interest.
All told - it's a cracking story and an education as well.
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Format: Paperback
Although finished over a hundred years ago, Mr. McCullough reminds us not to take the Brooklyn Bridge for granted. By interweaving hundreds of key participants and placing the events in the context of their times, Mr. McCullough reveals how hard it was to build, but how a determined few persevered. In fact, with all of the political opposition and in-fighting, it's a miracle that it did get finished during the height of the "Gilded Age." Mr. McCullough accomplishes one of the historian's hardest tasks by explaining why something we take for granted should be important to us living a century later; in other words he puts the struggle for the bridge in its proper backdrop with all of the colorful charactors who either contributed to or tried to prevent the bridge's construction. I have never been to the Brooklyn Bridge, but after reading this book, I plan on seeing it soon. Although the Bridge's story is unique to its turbulent time, it does transcend that context by celebrating the will and genius of men and women who know they are right. The story is universal in its testimony to the importance of following your beliefs. Washington Roebling and his wife Emily stand as true heroes who are still making a difference. Mr. McCullough is one of our best historians, as this book so ably proves. Highly recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Double Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough ("Truman" and "John Adams") skillfully reveals the pain, hardship, skulduggery, danger and raw doggedness that combined to create the Brooklyn Bridge - against all odds, obstructiveness and physical barriers.

The reader is entertained with not only a real insight into the lives of the Roebling Family - father and son who designed the bridge and oversaw its construction - but also with the insufferable working conditions, the nefarious behaviour of politicians and the chance to savour at close hand the atmosphere of the second half of the nineteenth century in Brooklyn and New York.
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Format: Paperback
McCoullough writes a great narrative history. This is the way true historians should write, putting the reader in the time and place of his subject, and not using a bunch of boring facts and dates, and writing in a style only academics can understand. When I finished this book, I felt as if I had just come from the 19th century.
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The story of the Brooklyn bridge is one that i have been fascinated about for years. Building suspension bridges is no easy task, even today. That the Roeblings pioneered such a large bridge with the technology of the day is astounding. And a testament to all who worked on the bridge project. It really was the 8th wonder of the industrial world. This book weaves together all the inter-twining threads of the Great Bridges story.

From John Roeblings journey to America, Washington Roeblings education and exploits in the civil war. Down in the caissons at the bottom of the east river, up on the bridge towers, spinning the cables. And Emily Roebling who finished the bridge after her Husband became sick with "Caissons disease". Nor is it just a story of engineering, or of human sacrifice. The political climate of the day provided just as many obstacles to the building of the great bridge as the east river, or crooked wire makers! Its a hell of a story, and nowhere will you found it better told than by McCullough!
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Format: Paperback
If you've even been to the Brooklyn Bridge and stared with awe, this book is definately for you! And if you've never been there, it'll make you want to go!
McCullough is one of the greatest historians of our time and he does a good job of showing how much time, money, graft, corruption, and human lives went into the building of this bridge. McCullough interweaves tales from New York and Brooklyn to make the reader understand the people and the times that went into and affected its construction.
The only drawback is sometimes these interweaved tales sometimes seem to disrupt the flow of the story. These are however, quite informative and interesting in themselves. So if you can deal with a distrupted timeline and the girth of the book, you are in for a really good read!
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