Published on the fortieth anniversary of its initial publication, this edition of the classic book contains a new Preface by David McCullough, “one of our most gifted living writers” (The Washington Post).Built to join the rapidly expanding cities of New York and Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Bridge was thought by many at the start to be an impossibility destined to fail if not from insurmountable technical problems then from political corruption. (It was the heyday of Boss Tweed in New York.) But the Brooklyn Bridge was at once the greatest engineering triumph of the age, a surpassing work of art, a proud American icon, and a story like no other in our history. Courage, chicanery, unprecedented ingenuity and plain blundering, heroes, rascals, all the best and worst in human nature played a part. At the center of the drama were the stricken chief engineer, Washington Roebling and his remarkable wife, Emily Warren Roebling, neither of whom ever gave up in the face of one heartbreaking setback after another. The Great Bridge is a sweeping narrative of a stupendous American achievement that rose up out of its era like a cathedral, a symbol of affirmation then and still in our time.
To say that Pittsburgh native, David McCullough, has had an interesting life would be an understatement. He was born in 1933 and is of Scots-Irish descent, and one of four sons. He is self-described as having a "marvelous" childhood. McCullough was interested in many things.......sports, art, books, and history among them. He loved every day of school. He graduated from Yale University where he felt privileged to associate with their great faculty of the likes of John O'Hara, John Heresy and others. He frequently ate lunch with Thornton Wilder, who taught him that a good writer should maintain "an air of freedom" in their writing so that the actual end is never predictable, even in non-fiction.
McCullough enjoyed delving into the research and then doing the writing of a non-fiction book. He studied Art and English, ultimately receiving his degree, with honors, in English literature at Yale (1955). While there, he was a member of Skull and Bones and served valuable apprenticeship with Time, Life, the U.S. Information Agency, and American Heritage.
McCullough has received the Pulitizer Prize for his books on Truman and John Adam's. His other books include: The Path Between the Seas and Mornings on Horseback, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, Brave Companions, 1776, The Greater Journey, The Wright Brothers, The American Spirit, and his latest, The Pioneers.
McCullough has been a teacher, editor, lecturer, and familiar voice on television. He was the host of Smithsonian World, The American Experience, narrator of numerous documentaries such as Ken Burn's The Civil War. His narrative of Seabiscuit, the movie, and the Tom Hanks directed seven-part mini-series, John Adam's were very successful.
McCullough and his wife Rosalee have five children and nineteen grandchildren.......and one great-grandchild! In the words of a citation given with his honorary degree from Yale, "As an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breathe, and above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character".