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High Steel: The Daring Men Who Built the World's Greatest Skyline

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  67 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
With the birth of the steel-frame skyscraper in the late nineteenth century came a new breed of man, as bold and untamed as any this country had ever known. These "cowboys of the skies," as one journalist called them, were the structural ironworkers who walked steel beams -- no wider, often, than the face of a hardcover book -- hundreds of feet above ground, to raise the s ...more
Hardcover, 376 pages
Published March 30th 2004 by Harper (first published January 1st 2004)
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Aug 05, 2016 Richp rated it liked it
This book is about the structural steelworkers themselves. As such I found it good, not great. There is some limited background on building design, economics, and the vast number of other workers, but that material I found to be weak.

The author's political biases intrude from time to time, but that is to be expected: Rasenberger was a NY Times reporter when he put together this book. During this period, the NYT was one of the lead media organizations lying to the US public in order to kill mill
Sep 10, 2015 Stephen rated it liked it
Interesting (to me) and informative story about men who can do construction work while hanging off buildings a thousand feet in the air. Its a history of some of the most famous buildings and bridges in the country and the people who made them, from the early 1900's to the World Trade Center. The only negative was that photos were not included in the e-book version.
Nov 12, 2012 Kelley rated it it was ok
I love a good book about history, working men, union strife, death, danger and human inventions/breakthroughs, but with all the potential that was here for this to be a spectacular historical book, it sadly fell far short of that achievement. I was very disappointed. This book had snippets of brilliance smattered throughout, but not consistent enough to maintain interest. I did like the back and forth between past and present, I did like the historical aspects of Chicago, various bridges and the ...more
John Strohm
Apr 07, 2015 John Strohm rated it liked it
Pretty interesting social history of the building of the great skyscrapers. The book focused too much on 9/11, though.
Pete Sikora
Apr 20, 2008 Pete Sikora rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: ironworkers , or people who know ironworkers
Bad dudes slingin' steel - the book is a good history of steel construction. There is a lot of focus on the tough guy ironworker culture. The ironworkers come off as slightly crazy - who else would work such a dangerous job?

Overall tho, there's not a lot of there to this book. It's a good quick read, but ultimately unsatisfying... you expect more, but the book isn't a closer. On the other hand, it's not boring at all... keeps the pages turning.

I would have liked more analysis of the ironworker
Michael Haydel
Apr 02, 2009 Michael Haydel rated it really liked it
This, like Triangle, was great because of the time period it focuses on.

While this book does discuss skyscraper construction up to more recent buildings, it is the tales of the men who built the Chrysler Building, or the Empire State Building, that are the most harrowing.

To think those buildings, which still stand today, were built by men who risked their lives hundreds, if not thousands, of feet in the air, is just awesome.
Aug 30, 2012 Terri rated it it was amazing
One of the most interesting books I've ever read. This was a book I devoured, word for word. Loved it and I highly recommend it.
Jun 14, 2015 Pablo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: americas, traumadrama
Very good book! Interesting history of lives lived at height. No pictures included in the e-book version.
Jul 09, 2013 Linda rated it it was amazing
Excellent writing and fascinating story. I loved this book
Mar 28, 2010 Dean rated it it was amazing
I'm an Ironworker so I loved it.
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