Customer Reviews for

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

Average Rating 4
( 59 )
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

The Great McCullough

It is hard for me to be objective about this book. First off, I am a great admirer of David McCullough's histories. Second, I have published two novels which are set in New York during the mid-19th Century. But what probably makes it hardest for me to be objective is th...
It is hard for me to be objective about this book. First off, I am a great admirer of David McCullough's histories. Second, I have published two novels which are set in New York during the mid-19th Century. But what probably makes it hardest for me to be objective is that I have walked over that bridge for my own personal pleasure so many times over the decades that I consider it an old friend. It's my bridge. Having said all that, I can say that Mr. McCullough has written a history that is not only about a bridge and its builders, which are fascinating subjects in their own right, but it is also about what New Yorkers were thinking back then. This was still a horizontal world the era of early skyscrapers was a few decades away. Because of this and the rapid growth in population after the Civil War, Manhattan was mostrously choked by block after block of four- and five-story tenements, warehouses and factories. The need for a reliable means to get to the vast open spaces of Brooklyn was urgent. Ironically, however, it wasn't the horizontal--the length of the bridge--which stunned the witnesses to the construction. Instead they marvelled at the height of the towers and the height of the roadway over the East River. Not as ironic, however, were the people who didn't marvel at the bridge's beauty and the strength of its construction. They were too busy licking their lips, wringing their hands and wondering how much of the bridge's budget would make its way into their wallets. The elements of corruption, then as now, always lurked near a great public work in New York. McCullough covers this tainted side just as carefully as he reports on the glory of the growth of the bridge. Heroes (the Roeblings) and villains (Tweed & Co.) abound, while New York's most beautiful and efficient structure comes to life. I've been as honest as possible. I recommend this book highly to anyone with an interest in engineering, New York history, or just a good story with great characters. Rocco Dormarunno Instructor, College of New Rochelle

posted by Anonymous on August 29, 2007

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

No ilustrations no page no s in index

Ilustrations essential to understanding. They are there but you cant find them. Idex has no page numbers. Table of contents shows illus but dont take you to them. These flaws easy to find in printed edition. E book requires wasting your dollars with no recourse.

posted by 15253478 on November 23, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2012

    No ilustrations no page no s in index

    Ilustrations essential to understanding. They are there but you cant find them. Idex has no page numbers. Table of contents shows illus but dont take you to them. These flaws easy to find in printed edition. E book requires wasting your dollars with no recourse.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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