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Golden Gate: The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge‎

3.4  ·  Rating details ·  220 Ratings  ·  58 Reviews
The Golden Gate Bridge links the urbanity of San Francisco with the wild headlands of Marin County, as if to suggest the paradox of California and America itself-the place that Fitzgerald saw as the last spot commensurate with the human capacity for wonder. The bridge, completed in 1937, also announced to the world America's engineering prowess and full assumption of its d ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published July 15th 2010 by Bloomsbury Press (first published July 6th 2010)
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Jul 03, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was lucky to receive this book in a Goodread's book giveaway:) It's a subject that both my husband (a civil engineer) and I are interested in. We both found it to be a good comprehensive starting-point for anyone interested in the bridge's construction and its over-all role in the development of SF and Bay area. Interesting back story without being too wordy, though it did occasionally have the tendency to become a little poetic, but that was okay. I enjoyed the pictures that the author includ ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jun 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those who love the Golden Gate Bridge or want to learn more about it
I won this book from the Goodreads First Reads giveaway program, and I am very grateful that I did. My to-read list is so long that I will read only a fraction of the books on it, and winning this ensured that I read it, and I’m glad that I did.

I live a five minutes drive away from the Golden Gate Bridge, within hiking distance from it. I used to walk across it regularly; I occasionally drive across it, and at times in the past regularly did so. I’ve known 4 people who jumped off of it, 3 who di
Oct 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in reading about human greatness
Shelves: freebox, california
I first "experienced" the Bridge when I was three days old, being taken home from the hospital (those were different times). Since then, I have walked across it, ridden across it, flown over it, and sailed under it. For ten years, I had a view of the south tower from my kitchen windows; for the past five years, I see the north tower whenever I am walking down to Polk Street to buy bread. I have seen it from every angle, in every degree of fog-laden obscurity. I have never managed to be indiffere ...more
May 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Today was the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge and there was a day long celebration to commemorate the event at the bridge and along Chrissy Field and the Marina Green. It was awesome, music, lectures, displays, vintage car and boat shows and the bridge itself. It ended with the most spectacular fireworks show I have ever seen. So now you know why I read this book. So what did I learn.....that I am not the only one in awe of this magnificent structure. Kevin Starr is too. The book coul ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: fun-nonfiction
A fun, short, easy-to-read history of the Golden Gate Bridge. The writing gets more than a little flowery in spots- it is a paean to the Bridge as much as it is a history book - but it flows quickly and entertainingly. This is less of a deep involved history a la McCullough's The Great Bridge and more something to breeze on through - sort of a Golden Gate Bridge 101 rather than an upper-division exploration. It touches on the aspects of the Bridge you'd expect - its background and construction - ...more
Paul Dinger
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an exhausting and very compelling account of the building of the Golden Gate with all of its local and state politics. It is also the portrait of several very vain individuals involved in its building. Kevin Starr is turning into the chronicler of all things California with these books which leave no stones unturned. This is so good that I won't hold his friendship with our state's worst governor Arnold Schwarzenegger against him.
John McDonald
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kevin Starr first came to my attention in 2009 when my son entered school in Santa Barbara, and I became enamored of the history of the founding of California by Spanish missionaries led by St. Junipero Serra, particularly, his founding of the Mission Santa Barbara. It seemed that everywhere I looked for information involving the history of California to understand the quest for Alta California in what is now the U.S. State of California, Dr. Starr's name appeared.

A few weeks ago, Kevin Starr di
Tim Robinson
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: society
A waffulous volume. History, art, business and politics, but far too little engineering.
Phillip Gonzales
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting look at the history of building the iconic bridge.
David Lynch
Aug 30, 2010 rated it liked it
After watching Ken Burns fascinating documentary about the Brooklyn Bridge on PBS, I jumped at the chance to review Golden Gate by Ken Starr. The author, a history professor, and published historian included many facts unknown to me such as how the bridge got its name. It's named after the Golden Horn of the Bosporus in Turkey. You will find scattered through out the book many instances of factual information that can surprise you pleasantly. But something is whispered in my ear that asks the qu ...more
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Kevin Starr was an American historian, best-known for his multi-volume series on the history of California, collectively called "America and the California Dream".
More about Kevin Starr...