on April 7, 2010
Ms. Khan tells us everything we ever wanted to know about the Statue of Liberty in her latest work. Ms. Khan's lively presentation of the facts kept me turning the pages, utterly captivated at every turn. While the Statue of Liberty is arguably one of the most important statues in the US, much of her fascinating history is unknown. Ms. Khan walks us through each of the events which culminated in the Statue of Liberty as we now know her. The history of the Statue reveals so much about the US as a country; this is a must read for anyone interested in history or the Statue of Liberty.
on January 18, 2012
An excellent but thin survey of the people and the forces behind the creation of the Statue of Liberty. The author gives us brief biographical sketches of the French citizens - Eduoard Laboulaye, Auguste Bartholdi, Gustave Eiffel - whose passion for liberty in their own country and their admiration of what they saw in the American experiment energized them to offer the most magnificent gift any one nation has ever given another (that didn't have warriors hidden inside...). We also get biographical sketches on the Americans who worked on the other side of the Atlantic - Richard Morris Hunt, chief among them, but also Joseph Pulitzer - to make sure their was a strong reception and a home for Lady Liberty once she arrived. Emma Lazarus's story is all too briefly told, reflecting her own shortened life, but how her famous poem came about is an enjoyable companion to the engineering tales shared in this book. The overarching theme of how self-government in the young American republic inspired those in France yearning to establish a similarly enduring one gives powerful meaning and reason to why the citizens of one nation would be so moved as to give the other nation, and the world, an eternal symbol of liberty.
on March 29, 2011
Yasmin Sabina Khan is best known for her writings on modern skyscraper architecture. As the daughter of Fazlur Khan, the engineer who designed many architectural triumphs in the Chicago skyline and around the world, as well as the designer of the structural underpinnings that keep these buildings standing, who better to author this beautifully-written book on the Statue of Liberty. Ms. Khan has woven the story that spans not only the physical statue, but also the times in which this, one of the most well-known statues in the world, was conceived.
Ms. Khan's work encompasses the greater history of the Statue in the context of its multinational symbolism and meaning from the end of the Revolutionary War until final construction was completed. The Statue was a gift to the fledgling United States from France, but in reality, the design, structural elements, and symbolism wrought into the Statue have deep meanings for freedom in all cultures.
This is more than a book on historical architecture. This truly is the story of the European and American world's leap for freedom across not only the United States but also the world.