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To Build New York: 100 Years of Infrastructure Hardcover – December 29, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 226 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (December 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071608621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071608626
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 0.7 x 11.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #393,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Issued by the General Contractors Association of New York (GCA), this attractive centennial volume chronicles 20th-century Big Apple infrastructure construction beginning in 1909, when the GCA was formed. Presenting historic photographs (more than 100, some never before published), time lines, contemporary news, and anecdotes, the book moves chronologically from the openings of the Queensboro and Manhattan bridges to improvements in mass transit, roads and tunnels, water and sewers, urban renewal, and rehabilitation. Its appealing visual format strikes a favorable balance between information excess and readability. A GCA directory, which names founding companies and modern offshoots, and photos of past association presidents and memorabilia take up about 20 pages at the end. This informative and well-designed publication, particularly of value for historical ready-reference facts, photos, and in-the-trenches perspectives, is recommended for academic and larger public libraries.

Russell T. Clement
Northwestern Univ. Lib., Evanston, IL (Library Journal)

About the Author

The General Contractors Association of New York, established in 1909, provides comprehensive answers and definitive solutions to the questions and concerns of New York City's heavy construction contractors and engineers.

More About the Author

David Kusnet was chief speechwriter for President Bill Clinton from 1992 through 1994.

He is the author of "Love the Work, Hate the Job: Why America's Best Workers Are More Unhappy than Ever" (Wiley, 2008) and "Speaking American: How the Democrats Can Win in the Nineties" (Thunder's Mouth, 1992). He collaborated with AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on "America Needs a Raise" (Houghton-Mifflin, 1995) and the General Contractors Association of New York on "To Build New York" (McGraw-Hill, 2008).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David M. Weiss on April 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book put out by the General Contractors Association (GCA)commemorates its centennial:1909 - 2009. It is chock full (133 pages of the book proper) of incredibly sumptuous pictures of the building of New York City taken over the last hundred years.

The GCA is an association of contractors primarily involved in heavy construction of public works. So we find stories of their contribution to bridges, tunnels and roads; mass transit; ports and harbors; power plants and dams; waterworks and sewage systems; and big buildings.

This is a truly wonderful book. It tells the story of the modern development of NY's infrastructure in words and glorious pictures, entwines it with the growth of the city, and in the process highlights the critical importance or the role the GCA has played.

There is an excellent historical perspective as well. It's a remarkable period that has seen us go from horse drawn transportation to jets, from tenements and unsanitary conditions in firetraps to a healthier environment, largely free of the diseases and fires that plagued neighborhoods and cities in previous centuries.

There's an excellent discussion of some construction technologies:
* for digging at and below ground;
* for tunneling sideways for water, transportation, and utilities. This gives us an understanding of geological conditions, caissons for digging below the water line.
* for underpinning and protection of what was already there.
* of new materials including concrete and the impact of the switch from bagged to bulk concrete.
Some interesting sidebars as well: did you know that Al Smith hired Robert Moses, recommended FDR as his successor, and worked with LaGuardia on the city's construction. So all in all there's a lot to learn here as well.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. G. Atkinson on April 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Everyone, I own this book. Honestly one of the greatest books I have ever read about infrastructure. So many of my questions have been answered such as how the tunnels have been built. I highly recommend the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Debi on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My son is going to school in NY for civil engineering! Great book for someone who is interested in civil engineering, or just likes NY. Quick ship! Would buy again!
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