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Hoover Dam: An American Adventure
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32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 1999
I was a young boy who lived in Boulder City for five years when my father helped build the dam. This is an excellently written - maybe one of the best I have ever read - and very accurate account of the construction, the people who did it, and life at the time. I stop and reminisce every time I go through Boulder City and drive over the dam. I loved my Dad and am very proud of his participation there. This book took me back in a very instructive and entertaining manner. It did the entire project proud. I won't hesitate one second to recommend this book to anyone who appreciates excellence in writing, or who loves America and its history. For this was a truly great undertaking, excellently and excitingly performed. And by people who, in my opinion, are prime examples of the so called "Greatest Generation". Detailed accounts of the construction of the dam are available, and are also excellent. But that is not the focus of this book.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 1999
Excellent book. I have read a number of science/engineering histories and this is one of the best. It follows the building of the Hoover Dam from start to finish. If I ever go to Las Vegas, it will be because I wanted to see the Dam. It has just the right amount of detail, both technical and political to keep me interested. It read faster than its size would suggest.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 1999
Author Joseph Stevens has conceived the perfect blend of technical detail, historical information, inspiration, intriguing anecdote, and literary entertainment in this very engaging story of the construction of one of the world's most spectacular engineering achievements: Hoover Dam on the Colorado River. You wouldn't think that a book about a dam in the desert would be that interesting, and yet this book holds one's attention from start to finish, with its story of how men and machines labored in the harshest of natural environments to build a structure that is still the definitive archetype of a dam. The book serves as both a reference and enjoyable reading material, and has something for everyone, from engineer to student to adventurer.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2000
According to the jacket, this is the first book for this author. You can't tell after turning the last page. Well written, easy to read history of the Hoover Dam project. Never overly technical, yet highly informative.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 1999
I belive that this is one of the best books on the subject of Hoover Dam. It doesn't just give the basics, it goes farther than that into the details of construction and personal accounts. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. This is truly a wonderful book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
What a wonderful book. As a civil engineer, if I had been born 50 years sooner, I probably would have gone in dam-building, but by the time I came along, the great dam-building era in the US was over. On a recent trip to Las Vegas, my wife and I visted Hoover Dam three times, we were both so fascinated with this monumental structure.

So I bought "Hoover Dam - An American Adventure" by Joseph E. Stevens. The author does a great job of describing the technical details without getting too technical for laymen, and he also covers the human details and the political background of the huge project.

One thing that really made the book so enjoyable was the liberal use of photographs, and unlike many books where the photographs are all in the middle of the book, the photographs are located throughout the book in the appropriate chapters.

This book made me proud to be an American, with the roll-up-your-sleeves-and-get-the-job-done attitude that typified the early dam and bridge builders.

If you have the slightest interest in major engineering feats, read the book, it's a good one.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2007
I purchased this book after reading a review about it on someone's blog. The book presents the fascinating history of the planning and building of the Hoover Dam. I was particularly struck by the descriptions of the working conditions that the workers endured. While the text appeared to be fairly dense, it was actually a fast read. The only real complaint I have about the book is that I think it could have used a few more maps to help the reader get a sense for where things were. I believe there was one map, and it wasn't very details. If you are at all interested in the history surrounding the construction of the Hoover Dam I highly recommend getting this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2009
I very much enjoyed 'Hoover Dam: An American Adventure.' If you expect a lot of engineering details and a step-by-step account of how the dam was built, you may be somewhat disappointed. The book covers the engineering and design of the dam, but not in exhausting detail. This book deals with the human side of the dam's construction to a great extent and that is what makes it so interesting.

The author details the harsh working conditions, the grueling work schedule and the lack of so much of what we take for granted in today's world. This book was a terrific look at who built Hoover dam, not just what Hoover dam was as an engineering marvel.

Recommended highly. It's an engaging read and doesn't get bogged down.
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on February 9, 2009
This book will bring you in the middle of the desert and will make you live the adventure of one great engineer and great people who in the middle of the depression era will build the one most complex civil project ever attempted.
You will assist to the birth of the city in the middle of nowhere, you will feel the dangers of the builders working in precarious conditions hanged on canyon walls , and you will follow the technology advancements needed to create something that was never attempted.
A real masterpiece.
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on August 11, 2013
This is the most detailed book which I have read about the Dam and those who designed and built it. Joseph Stevens gives the reader a great understanding of the history and the details of construction and design of the Dam and engineers and man that built it..
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