Since I know nothing about engineering and have around a five percent interest in the topic, I wasn’t sure I would enjoy this book. But I should have known better. It’s written by David McCullough.
I’ve only seen the Brooklyn Bridge once in my life. I was on a tour boat putting around the East River. I thought it was impressive, even though the Manhattan skyline beyond it dwarfs the towers. But in my wildest dreams, I never imagined constructing it was such a feat.
As with most of McCullough’s books, this is about much more than the ostensible subject. Sure, the bridge is the hinge the story hangs upon, but the book is about determination and the extraordinary individuals who made it all happen.
Most of the book focuses on the chief engineer, Washington Roebling, and the intelligence and effort demanded of him despite formidable obstacles placed in his path, beginning with the unfortunate death of his father, the bridge designer John Roebling. I was impressed and humbled to read of the younger Washington’s trials and perseverance.
That’s the thing about the books I’ve read by McCullough. If I had to put my finger on one thing that makes me admire his books, they make me wish to stand a little straighter and try a little harder. Parts of the book describe technical details. I skimmed past those. This book is great for history lovers, engineering fans, and anyone who loves a great story.