The Great Bridge Themes

David McCullough
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The Great Bridge is set in the Age of Progress and throughout its pages is woven the conviction that after the senseless suffering and destruction of the Civil War, the United States must dedicate itself to peaceful pursuits for the good of mankind. We see antebellum precedents in the Erie Canal, the beginnings of a transcontinental railroad, the slow development of the theories and methods of suspension building. John A. Augustus has his roots in German engineering and Hegel's emphasis on thinking independently and relying on the validity of one's own conclusions. He discovers a better way of hauling canal boats over the Alleghenies, begins growing a fortune on metal wire, and repeatedly shows he is the master of building long, beautiful bridges. Brooklyn sees its proximity to Manhattan as a means to great economic and population progress, if a Great Bridge can be built.

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This section contains 930 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Great Bridge Study Guide
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