A pictorial list of 50 spans, Graf's album exalts both famous and utterly obscure bridges. By including rope bridges in Nepal, and the newest suspension bridge giants in Japan and Denmark, the author underscores the commonality to any bridge's purpose: vaulting chasms and straits to link people and commerce. Florence's famous Ponte Vecchio, with the shops built onto its spans, expresses the idea literally, while other celebrated bridges do so symbolically, like the now-destroyed Stari Most in Mostar, Bosnia. Whatever a bridge's exact physical purpose, it also exudes a powerful aesthetic presence that Graf handsomely displays: the book's design faces a one-page historical description with a full-page photograph, with an oblong format enhancing the feeling of length. This effect is especially graceful on the An Ji Bridge in China, a beautiful 1,400-year-old structure. Turning from medieval stone bridges to those of the Industrial Revolution, Graf selects the seminal Iron Bridge in Britain, and he represents modernism with the single-mast Alamillo Bridge in Seville. An appealing diversion for browsers. Gilbert TaylorCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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"A world tour which singles out more than 50 bridges for their beauty, historical significance, or technical ingenuity." -- Sunday Star-Ledger, Decemeber 2002
"An appealing diversion for browsers." -- Booklist, December 2002
"The role of bridges in world and American history is explored in two fine volumes..." -- Sacramento Bee, December 2002