The Great Bridge
The Great Bridge
The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge
Simon & Schuster, Hardcover, 9781451683233, 605pp.
Publication Date: May 15, 2012
This monumental book 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 things were possible.
In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented 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 great cathedrals. 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 exploiting the surpassing enterprise.
“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.”
“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