Synopses & Reviews
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world. Itand#8217;s also the most deadly. Since it opened in 1937, more than 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge, making it the top suicide site on earth. Itand#8217;s also the only international landmark without a suicide barrier. Weaving drama, tragedy, and politics against the backdrop of a world-famous city, The Final Leap
is the first book ever written about Golden Gate Bridge suicides. John Bateson leads us on a fascinating journey that uncovers the reasons for the design decision that led to so many deaths, provides insight into the phenomenon of suicide, and examines arguments for and against a suicide barrier. He tells the stories of those who have died, the few who have survived, and those who have been affectedand#151;from loving families to the Coast Guard, from the coroner to suicide prevention advocates.
and#8220;The appearance of the publication of this sensitive and humane apologia signifies the continuing struggle for maturity and depth in an American civilization capable of creating such a breathtaking path of sculptured steel across the entrance to a bay and a city so evocative of life.and#8221;
and#8220;Compelling. . . . The Final Leap is a highly readable book . . . [and] is accessible to a wide range of readers.and#8221;
and#8220;Masterful. . . . It is hard not to be emotionally moved by this relatively slim volume. . . . Gripping, informative, maddening, and saddening.and#8221;
and#147;Extremely well done. Itand#8217;s the single most important contribution to the debate surrounding suicide and the Golden Gate Bridge to date.and#8221; -Thomas Joiner, author of Lonely at the Top
and Why People Die by Suicide
and#147;John Bateson takes us on a gripping journey through the lives of everyone who has been affected. He boldly counters myths with facts, eloquently speaks of the unspeakable, and helps us all to care about those who, in an instant, stopped caring about themselves. This book stirs the soul to fight for the day when the protective net is finally cast under the Golden Gate Bridge, when it will become a national monument to both beauty and compassion.and#8221;and#151;John Draper, Director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
About the Author
John Bateson is Executive Director of the Contra Costa Crisis Center in Contra Costa County, California and the author of Building Hope. He has served on the steering committee of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. In 2007 he was appointed to a blue-ribbon committee charged with creating the California Strategic Plan on Suicide Prevention.