Golden Gate: Book summary and reviews of Golden Gate by Kevin Starr

Golden Gate

The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge

by Kevin Starr

Golden Gate by Kevin Starr X
Golden Gate by Kevin Starr
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Book Summary

The Golden Gate Bridge links the urbanity of San Francisco with the wild headlands of Marin County, as if to suggest the paradox of California and America itself - the place that Fitzgerald saw as the last spot commensurate with the human capacity for wonder. The bridge, completed in 1937, also announced to the world America's engineering prowess and full assumption of its destined continental dominance. The Golden Gate is a counterpart to the Statue of Liberty, pronouncing American achievement in an unmistakable American fashion. The nation's very history is expressed in the bridge's art deco style and stark verticality.

Kevin Starr's Golden Gate is a brilliant and passionate telling of the history of the bridge, and the rich and peculiar history of the California experience. The Golden Gate is a grand public work, a symbol and a very real bridge, a magnet for both postcard photographs and suicides. In this compact but comprehensive narrative, Starr unfolds the hidden-in-plain-sight meaning of the Golden Gate, putting it in its place among classic works of art.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starr's stellar book encompasses politics, finances, design, art, photography, film, construction, history, bibliography, and even suicide, which occurs about every other week...This short, pithy book is highly recommended." - Library Journal

"Starred Review. If occasional passages feel hurried, few essentials feel left out, and Starr's lyrical prose more than compensates for whatever's missing in this appreciation of the "global icon" he so clearly loves. In design and execution, every bit as worthy of the bridge it celebrates." - Kirkus Reviews

"The loving and meticulous manner in which Kevin Starr has constructed this paean to one of the world's most admired architectural icons is everything that we have come to expect from the creator of the California Dream series, and more. This book is the ideal companion to the bridge, magisterial in authority, intimate in detail and affectionate in tone: an entirely befitting classic." - Simon Winchester, author of The Man Who Loved China and The Professor and the Madman

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Author Information

Kevin Starr

Kevin Starr is one of America's most celebrated historians. His many books include a magisterial seven-volume history of California (Americans and the California Dream). He served as California State Librarian and in 2006 was awarded the National Humanities Medal. He currently teaches at the University of Southern California.

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