Engineers of Dreams by Henry Petroski
Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America

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Synopsis

Petroski reveals the science and engineering--not to mention the politics, egotism, and sheer magic--behind America's great bridges, particularly those constructed during the great bridge-building era starting in the 1870s and continuing through the 1930s. It is the story of the men and women who built the St. Louis, the George Washington, and the Golden Gate bridges, drawing not only on their mastery of numbers but on their gifts for persuasion and self-promotion. It is an account of triumphs and ignominious disasters (including the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which literally twisted itself apart in a high wind). And throughout this grandly engaging book, Petroski lets us see how bridges became the "symbols and souls" of our civilization, as well as testaments to their builders' vision, ingenuity, and perseverance.



"Seamlessly linked...With astonishing scope and generosity of view, Mr. Petroski places the tradition of American bridge-building in perspective."--New York Times Book Review


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Henry Petroski

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Henry Petroski's previous books include To Engineer Is Human, which was developed into a BBC television documentary; The Pencil; The Evolution of Useful Things; and Engineers of Dreams. Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University.
 
Published December 15, 2010 by Vintage. 479 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Computers & Technology, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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A great idea: The story behind the Brooklyn Bridge, Golden Gate, and a score of other marvels of late-19th and 20th century engineering genius.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Engineers of Dreams: Great Br...

Publishers Weekly

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An exhilarating saga of ingenuity and sheer determination, this chronicle of the great era of American bridge building intersects with the time of technological innovation, the transformation of the U

Oct 02 1995 | Read Full Review of Engineers of Dreams: Great Br...

Publishers Weekly

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He looks at the importance of John Roebling's personal charisma and the impact of the 1879 failure of the Firth of Tay bridge on the subsequent construction of bridges.

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Publishers Weekly

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Focusing on five engineers and their creations, Petroski looks at the great bridge-building era that spanned from the 1870s to the 1930s.

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