By Henry Petroski
Petroski unearths the technology and engineering--not to say the politics, egotism, and sheer magic--behind America's nice bridges, rather these built in the course of the nice bridge-building period beginning within the 1870s and carrying on with throughout the Thirties.
It is the tale of the lads and girls who outfitted the St. Louis, the George Washington, and the Golden Gate bridges, drawing not just on their mastery of numbers yet on their presents for persuasion and self-promotion. it really is an account of triumphs and ignominious failures (including the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which accurately twisted itself aside in a excessive wind). And all through this grandly enticing ebook, Petroski we could us see how bridges turned the "symbols and souls" of our civilization, in addition to testaments to their builders' imaginative and prescient, ingenuity, and perseverance.
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Extra info for Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America
The measure included a Bureau of Corporations armed with subpoena power to investigate interstate business and expose illegal activities. Other successes came in conservation. Roosevelt was the first president to focus public attention on natural resources. Emphasizing the overdevelopment of grazing, lumber, and water projects on public lands in the West, he withdrew about 120- 160 million acres from development, increasing reserves by nearly one-half during his first term . Additionally, he supported the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902, which set aside almost the entire THE PRESIDENT AND THE ENVIRO NMENTALIST Theodore Roosevelt and conservation pioneer John Muir on Glacier Point, Yosemite Valley, circa 1906.
Seldom have two luminaries so ignited the public mind within a single generation. The most significant chief executives between the end of the Civil War and the start of the New Deal, they contrasted in styles and temperaments and exploited each other as a foil. Each possessed an iron will that would not permit him to give up (although fate might have been kinder to them if sometimes they had given up). Roosevelt, who took office in 1901, awakened the country like a fire bell in the night. He thrilled, confounded, and polarized Americans.
But there was no denying the extent of corruption, as journalist Lincoln Steffens documented in his 1904 book The Shame of the Cities. In nearly every city he studied, Steffens found bosses who took bribes for favoring businesses in granting utility franchises, contracts for public services, and construction of municipal buildings; these businesses, in turn, charged exorbitant prices. Bosses also stole from the public by padding city payrolls with "deadhead" employees who did little tor their paychecks.
Engineers of Dreams: Great Bridge Builders and the Spanning of America by Henry Petroski