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

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, May 15, 2012 - History - 605 pages
851 Reviews
The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough.

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.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
330
4 stars
351
3 stars
133
2 stars
31
1 star
6

Well written and researched. - Goodreads
It's not a page turner but a great book nonetheless. - Goodreads
Amazing story, excellent writing. - Goodreads
New insight or at least information into leadership. - Goodreads
What a terrific writer! - Goodreads
McCollough is an incredible writer. - Goodreads

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

User Review  - Heath Fisher - Goodreads

It's well written and wonderfully researched, but it's also a bit dull throughout. The book probably breaks down as 25% actual bridge building facts/details and 75% politics involving the men ... Read full review

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

User Review  - Steven Yenzer - Goodreads

It's impressive how much shorter this very long book felt compared to some of the technically shorter history I've been reading lately. Fascinating and exciting. I was particularly taken with McCullough's descriptions of the caissons used to build the bridge. Read full review

All 3 reviews »

Contents

Authors Note
15
The Plan
21
Brooklyn
101
All According to Plan
169
Down in the Caisson
190
10
222
At the Halfway Mark
303
Spirits of 76
317
Number 8 Birmingham Gauge
348
And Yet the Bridge Is Beautiful
462
The Peoples Day
482
7
534
209
541
303
547
332
582
Copyright

A Perfect Pandemonium
332

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

David McCullough has 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 are 1776, Brave Companions, The Johnstown Flood, and The Greater Journey. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian award.

Bibliographic information