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

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

Written by David McCullough

Narrated by Nelson Runger


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

Written by David McCullough

Narrated by Nelson Runger

ratings:
4.5/5 (78 ratings)
Length:
27 hours
Released:
May 15, 2012
ISBN:
9781442355606
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Editor's Note

A modern marvel…

With verve and vitality, McCullough tells the amazing story of a modern marvel. From dangerous working conditions to corrupt bargains to heroic feats, this is the story of how a bridge came to symbolize New York.

Description

This monumental book tells the enthralling story of one of the greatest accomplishments in our nation's 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 Europe's great cathedrals. During 14 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 Roebling's vision, his son Washington's skill and courage, and Washington's wife Emily's dedication, the bridge we know and cherish would never have been built.

Like the engineering marvel it describes, The Great Bridge, republished on the 40th anniversary of its initial publication, has stood the test of time.

A Simon & Schuster audio production.

Released:
May 15, 2012
ISBN:
9781442355606
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

David McCullough (1933–2022) twice received the Pulitzer Prize, for Truman and John Adams, and twice received the National Book Award, for The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback. His other acclaimed books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, Brave Companions, 1776, The Greater Journey, The American Spirit, The Wright Brothers, and The Pioneers. He was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. Visit DavidMcCullough.com.



Reviews

What people think about The Great Bridge

4.6
78 ratings / 38 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    David McCullough truly is a national treasure as many people have come to call him. He is a wonderful writer whose love of American History is inspiring to anyone who has ever read his works or heard him speak. This book looks at the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in great detail. As always, McCullough looks at all parts of the story, from the building and engineering challenges, to the local politics and all of the historical figures involved. I would never have read a book about this topic if it was written by a different author, and I learned a great deal from the read. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    What's the longest period that a book has been on your "to read" list before you actually read it? For me, it may be 33 years as I got a copy of this book around the time of the Brooklyn Bridge centennial in 1983, looked at the pictures a lot, but never got around to reading. Since my copy of the book is falling apart, I listened to it as an audiobook. It's a straightforward history of the planning, construction, and aftermath of Brooklyn Bridge and it's effect on the cities of New York and Brooklyn. Central to the story are three people: John Roebling - the great bridge builder who designed Brooklyn Bridge but died as construction was begining in 1869, Washington Roebling - who emerged from his father's shadow as chief engineer but suffered greatly from illness and injury that kept him away from the job site, and Emily Roebling - who stepped in to manage the chief engineer responsibilities when her husband was indisposed. The construction of Brooklyn Bridge faced many challenges including the physical demanding work of the laborers leading to injury and death (particularly the notorious caisson's disease), a rivalry with James Eads - then constructing a bridge across the Mississippi at St. Louis, and the revelations of corruption of the Tweed Ring that were tied up in the bridge project. All three of these things lead to efforts to remove Washington Roebling that would be defeated. If there's one flaw to this book it's that McCullough tends to pile on the details and repeat himself in ways that make this a less engaging read than it could be, but otherwise it's a fascinating story of a significant monument in American history.
  • (5/5)
    An excellent book. The writer takes the technical and makes it accessible. He rings the personalities to vibrant life. A great read.
  • (5/5)
    Thoroughly researched, compellingly written, the Great Bridge is a wondrous tale of man-made engineering in the late 19th century and the people who made the glorious Brooklyn Bridge happen, especially that of J.A. Roebling.
  • (4/5)
    [The Great Bridge] is the story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge along with the politics and personalities involved. Interesting and entertaining except that John A. Roebling was hardly likable and some of the technical descriptions were tedious.
  • (4/5)
    Well researched, comprehensive narrative of the building of the world's largest suspension bridge at the time. Deep insights in Washington & JOhn Roebling