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 Great Bridge is a book so compelling and complete as to be a literary monument. . . . McCullough has written that sort of work which brings us to the human center of the past."
--Los Angeles Times "The Great Bridge is a great book. . . . This is the definitive book on the event. Do not wait for a better try: there won't be any."
--Norman Rosten, Newsday "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