James Christensen's Reviews > The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge

The Great Bridge by David McCullough
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 14, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: biography, history, morality, politics-graft, honour, self-sacrifice
Read in January, 2008

The Great Bridge
The Great Bridge by David McCullough (Hist) '08 the story of the design and building of the Brooklyn Bridge by John and Washington A. Roebling (father and son).

Fascinating story of the building of something never built prior to that day on that scale, the incredible sacrifices made, the political graft, the honour of the designer and builder, and the ingenuity of two very brilliant minds.


"Mark Twain said of New York, 'Every man seems to feel he has got the duties of two lifetimes to accomplish in one, and so rushes, rushes, and never has time to be companionable - never has time at his disposal to fool away on matters which do not involve dollars and duty and business.'"

Speaking of colleges of the 1830-50 era: "Roebling [Washington:], . . . saw no virtue whatever in what he called 'that terrible treadmill of forcing an avalanche of figures and facts into young brains not qualified to assimilate them as yet.' 'I am still busy,' he said, 'trying to forget the heterogeneous mass of unusable knowledge that i could only memorize, not really digest.' The strain was terrific. Of the sixty-five students who started out in his [engineering:] class, only twelve finished. And among those who did not finish there had been some rather severe breakdowns, it appears, and one suicide."
1 like · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Great Bridge.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.