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The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

by

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

First published in 1972, The Great Bridge is the classic account of one of the greatest engineering feats of all time. Winning acclaim for its comprehensive look at the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, this book helped cement David McCullough's reputation as America's preeminent social historian. Now, The Great Bridge is reissued as a Simon and Schuster Classic Edition with a new introduction by the author.

This monumental book brings back for American readers the heroic vision of the America we once had. It is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation's history during the Age of Optimism — a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all great things were possible. In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building a great bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the pyramids. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle: it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or obstructing the great enterprise. Amid the flood of praise for the book when it was originally published, Newsday said succinctly "This is the definitive book on the event. Do not wait for a better try: there won't be any."

Synopsis:

A collection of bestselling and award-winning books from our first seventy-five years. These titles are handsomely redesigned to combine original artwork with contemporary packaging. Many editions feature new introductions by the authors.

Synopsis:

This monumental book tells the enthralling story of one of the greatest accomplishments in our nations 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 Europes great cathedrals. During fourteen 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 Roeblings vision, his son Washingtons skill and courage, and Washingtons wife Emilys dedication, the bridge we know and cherish would never have been built.

Like the engineering marvel it describes, The Great Bridge, republished on the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, has stood the test of time.

Synopsis:

Published on the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, this edition of the classic book contains a new Preface by David McCullough, “one of our most gifted living writers” (The Washington Post).

Built to join the rapidly expanding cities of New York and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge was thought by many at the start to be an impossibility destined to fail if not from insurmountable technical problems then from political corruption. (It was the heyday of Boss Tweed in New York.) 

     But the Brooklyn Bridge was at once the greatest engineering triumph of the age, a surpassing work of art, a proud American icon, and a story like no other in our history.  Courage, chicanery, unprecedented ingenuity and plain blundering, heroes, rascals, all the best and worst in human nature played a part. At the center of the drama were the stricken chief engineer, Washington Roebling and his remarkable wife, Emily Warren Roebling, neither of whom ever gave up in the face of one heartbreaking setback after another. 

     The Great Bridge is a sweeping narrative of a stupendous American achievement that rose up out of its era like a cathedral, a symbol of affirmation then and still in our time. 

About the Author

David McCullough has been called a "master of the art of narrative history." His books have been praised for their exceptional narrative sweep, their scholarship and insight into American life, and for their literary distinction.

In the words of the citation accompanying his honorary degree from Yale, "As an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breath, and above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character."

Author of 1776, John Adams, Truman, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, and Brave Companions, he has received the Pulitzer Prize twice (in 1993, for Truman, and, in 2001, for John Adams), the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and has twice won the National Book Award.

For his work overall he has been honored by the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, the St. Louis Literary Award, the Carl Sandburg Award, and the New York Public Library's Literary Lion Award. None of his books has ever been out of print.

In a crowded, productive career, Mr. McCullough has been an editor, essayist, teacher, lecturer, and familiar presence on public television — as host of Smithsonian World, The American Experience, and narrator of numerous documentaries including The Civil War and Napoleon. He is a past president of the Society of American Historians. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and has received 31 honorary degrees.

A gifted speaker, Mr. McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House, as part of the White House presidential lecture series. He is also one of the few private citizens to be asked to speak before a joint session of Congress.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, Mr. McCullough was educated there and at Yale, where he was graduated with honors in English literature. An avid reader, traveler, and landscape painter, he lives in West Tisbury, Massachusetts, with his wife Rosalee Barnes McCullough. They have five children and 15 grandchildren.

Table of Contents

Contents

Introduction

Author's Note

PART ONE

1. The Plan

2. Man of Iron

3. The Genuine Language of America

4. Father and Son

5. Brooklyn

6. The Proper Person to See

7. The Chief Engineer

PART TWO

8. All According to Plan

9. Down in the Caisson

10. Fire

11. The Past Catches Up

12. How Natural, Right, and Proper

13. The Mysterious Disorder

14. The Heroic Mode

PART THREE

15. At the Halfway Mark

16. Spirits of '76

17. A Perfect Pandemonium

18. Number 8, Birmingham Gauge

19. The Gigantic Spinning Machine

20. Wire Fraud

21. Emily

22. The Man in the Window

23. And Yet the Bridge Is Beautiful

24. The People's Day

Epilogue

Appendix

Notes

Picture Credits

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743217378
Subtitle:
The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
Introduction:
McCullough, David
Introduction by:
McCullough, David
Introduction:
McCullough, David
Author:
McCullough, David
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Location:
New York
Subject:
Engineering - Civil
Subject:
United States - General
Subject:
Engineering - Mechanical
Subject:
Brooklyn bridge (new york, n.y.)
Subject:
Brooklyn bridge
Subject:
United States - State & Local - Middle Atlantic
Subject:
Civil
Subject:
Civil Engineering-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Series Volume:
no. 105-330
Publication Date:
June 2001
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
608
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.25 in 37.45 oz

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » Bridges
Engineering » Civil Engineering » General
History and Social Science » Americana » General
History and Social Science » Americana » Northeast
History and Social Science » World History » General

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$11.95 In Stock
Product details 608 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9780743217378 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A collection of bestselling and award-winning books from our first seventy-five years. These titles are handsomely redesigned to combine original artwork with contemporary packaging. Many editions feature new introductions by the authors.
"Synopsis" by , This monumental book tells the enthralling story of one of the greatest accomplishments in our nations 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 Europes great cathedrals. During fourteen 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 Roeblings vision, his son Washingtons skill and courage, and Washingtons wife Emilys dedication, the bridge we know and cherish would never have been built.

Like the engineering marvel it describes, The Great Bridge, republished on the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, has stood the test of time.

"Synopsis" by , Published on the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, this edition of the classic book contains a new Preface by David McCullough, “one of our most gifted living writers” (The Washington Post).

Built to join the rapidly expanding cities of New York and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge was thought by many at the start to be an impossibility destined to fail if not from insurmountable technical problems then from political corruption. (It was the heyday of Boss Tweed in New York.) 

     But the Brooklyn Bridge was at once the greatest engineering triumph of the age, a surpassing work of art, a proud American icon, and a story like no other in our history.  Courage, chicanery, unprecedented ingenuity and plain blundering, heroes, rascals, all the best and worst in human nature played a part. At the center of the drama were the stricken chief engineer, Washington Roebling and his remarkable wife, Emily Warren Roebling, neither of whom ever gave up in the face of one heartbreaking setback after another. 

     The Great Bridge is a sweeping narrative of a stupendous American achievement that rose up out of its era like a cathedral, a symbol of affirmation then and still in our time. 

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