The Bridge: The Building of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge
Gay Talese is a reporter, story-teller, and a very good writer. The Bridge is his latest book following the 1964 first edition of a similar volume, but this one centers around, and focuses on, people and less on the bridge—people who were intimately involved with the construction of this landmark bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
Talese writes in details about many of the men, their personal stories, and their involvement of the bridge’s construction. The writing is very readable, and the stories are fascinating, interspersed with the history and technical aspects of the bridge building. The book is of large-format, suitable for display on the coffee table. Illustrations include many large black-and-white photos and sketches of the bridge in various stages of construction and people who made it. Also interspersed with this story are other major bridges and their constructions, and facts about the designers and builders. We read about steel workers called boomers, punks, catchers, and pushers and many others as part of this complicated, enormous, and breathtaking operation, and the great controversies and protests on both Brooklyn and Staten Island. Talese takes us all the way to current bridge constructions like the Tappen Zee Bridge.