I am headed to New York City this weekend for a mid-summer respite, seeing some shows and visiting friends. However, I do have one task on my list while I am in the big city – take a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge – something I have always wanted to do.

In a city full of iconic structures, the bridge is definitely near the top of the list. I have always been interested in the Brooklyn Bridge, but it became a totally fascination after I read the superb The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by the awesome David McCullough.

About The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough:

“The dramatic and enthralling story of the building of the Brooklyn Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge at the time, a tale of greed, corruption, and obstruction but also of optimism, heroism, and determination, told by master historian David McCullough. This monumental book is the enthralling story of one of the greatest events in our nation’s history, during the Age of Optimism—a period when Americans were convinced in their hearts that all things were possible. In the years around 1870, when the project was first undertaken, the concept of building an unprecedented bridge to span the East River between the great cities of Manhattan and Brooklyn required a vision and determination comparable to that which went into the building of the great cathedrals. Throughout the fourteen years of its construction, the odds against the successful completion of the bridge seemed staggering. Bodies were crushed and broken, lives lost, political empires fell, and surges of public emotion constantly threatened the project. But this is not merely the saga of an engineering miracle; it is a sweeping narrative of the social climate of the time and of the heroes and rascals who had a hand in either constructing or exploiting the surpassing enterprise.”

No one can make history come alive quite like Mr. McCullough, and this book, an earlier work, has lived on as the definitive history of the great bridge – and I have been re-reading it as I plan my visit.

The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge by David McCullough is available in multiple formats from Amazon and other fine booksellers.