Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation

Front Cover
W. W. Norton & Company, 2005 - History - 448 pages
9 Reviews
The history of the Erie Canal is a story of American ingenuity. A great project that Thomas Jefferson judged to be "little short of madness," and that others compared with going to the moon, soon turned into one of the most successful and influential public investments in American history.
In Wedding of the Waters, best-selling author Peter L. Bernstein recounts the canal's creation within the larger tableau of a youthful America in the first quarter-century of the 1800s. Leaders of the fledgling nation had quickly recognized that the Appalachian mountain range was a formidable obstacle to uniting the Atlantic states with the vast lands of the west. A pathway for commerce as well as travel was critical to the security and expansion of the Revolution's unprecedented achievement.
Bernstein examines the social ramifications, political squabbles, and economic risks and returns of this mammoth project. He goes on to demonstrate how the canal's creation helped bind the western settlers in the new lands to their fellow Americans in the original colonies, knitted the sinews of the American industrial revolution, and even influenced profound economic change in Europe.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4
4 stars
3
3 stars
2
2 stars
0
1 star
0

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

At first this book was a little disappointing. I was expecting something more on the lines McCullogh’s book about the Panama Canal, The Path Between the Seas, with details of the difficulties and ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JBD1 - LibraryThing

A generally unimpressive account of the creation of the Erie Canal, covering both the political and an engineering aspects. I felt like this story had much more potential than Bernstein was able to execute. Probably safe to give this one a miss. Read full review

Contents

Acknowledge
13
Does It Not Seem Like Magic?
19
Smooth Sailing
29
Hudsons Wrong Turn
44
Washingtons Pivot
59
Canal Maniacs
75
A Canal to the Moon
87
THE ACTION BEGINS
105
Rude Incentive
235
Unwearied Zeal
256
A Noble Work
277
The Pageant of Power
291
The Weeding of the Waters
306
No Charge for Births
323
The Prodigious Artery
341
The Granary of the World
362

The Extravagant Proposal
124
The Expedition
140
War and Peace
158
The Shower of Gold
178
Digging the Ditch
201
Boom Bust Bonds
218
EPILOGUE
377
Notes
381
Bibliography
411
Illustration Credits
422
Index
423
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (2005)

Peter L. Bernstein (1919--2009), the financial historian, wrote nine books, including the worldwide bestseller Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk.

Bibliographic information