Dreams of Iron and Steel: Seven Wonders of the Nineteenth Century, from the Building of the London Sewers to the Panama Canal

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9780007163069: Dreams of Iron and Steel: Seven Wonders of the Nineteenth Century, from the Building of the London Sewers to the Panama Canal

A world that had changed little from the Middle Ages was altered beyond recognition by the engineering genius of the nineteenth century:rivers tamed, oceans pacified, continents bridged. In Dreams of Iron and Steel, acclaimed historian Deborah Cadbury tells the heroic tale of the visionaries and ordi-nary workers who brought to life seven wonders of engi-neering that still have the power to awe and inspire us today.

From the London sewers that banished cholera to the Panama Canal that shaved thousands of miles off a dangerous sea passage, from the Hoover Dam that diverted the world's most unpredictable river to give power to over half of the country to the transcontinental railroad that fulfilled the dream of manifest destiny, Dreams of Iron and Steel reveals the epic struggles and personal stories of the most brilliant pioneers of the industrial age, and the financiers and politicians who hung on for the ride as fortunes and reputations were lost and won.

Fueled by Deborah Cadbury's characteristic scholarship and insight, this extraordinary chronicle re-createsthe human odyssey of how our modern world was forged -- with rivets, grease, and steam, but also with blood, sweat, and extreme imagination.

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About the Author:

Deborah Cadbury is the highly acclaimed author of several books, including Dreams of Iron and Steel, The Lost King of France, and Terrible Lizard. She has also won numerous international awards as a television producer for the BBC. She lives in London.

From Publishers Weekly:

British historian and Emmy Award-winning BBC producer Cadbury (The Last King of France, etc.) chronicles seven great engineering feats of the 19th and early 20th centuries: the Great Eastern, the largest ocean-going vessel of the mid-19th century; the London sewer system; the U.S. transcontinental railroad; the Brooklyn Bridge; the Panama Canal; the Hoover Dam; and, least known, Scotland's Bell Rock Lighthouse. Cadbury pays special attention to the visionary, sometimes almost delusional men who were the human catalysts for these breakthrough accomplishments. Her choices are good ones, as the fascinating personalities at the center of these endeavors include corrupt manipulators, selfless crusaders and arrogant self-promoters, all of whom share a preternatural single-mindedness, which is at the core of their successes. Cadbury also describes the human costs that success required, often of the founders of these enterprises and invariably of those who moved the steel, dug the holes and poured the concrete. The cumulative loss of lives on these projects was in the thousands, and Cadbury is unsparing in her descriptions of the ways death occurred. Men were boiled alive in a boiler malfunction on the Great Eastern; blown up, scalped or mutilated while working on the transcontinental railroad; and entombed in concrete while building Hoover Dam. But the book is not a social commentary about the reckless disregard of 19th-century industrialists; it is, rather, dedicated to the human ingenuity displayed in these battles with a stubborn and capricious natural world. Readers who enjoyed the challenge of building the 1893 World's Fair in The Devil and the White City will find much to revel in here.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Book Description Harper, 2004. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. An award-winning historian takes a close-up look at seven extraordinary nineteenth-century engineering accomplishments that transformed the history of the modern world, including the construction of the London sewers, the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, and the Transcontinental Railway. 25,000 first printing. Solid binding. Minimal shelfwear. Book. Bookseller Inventory # 123476858

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