Golden Gate, The Life and Times of America’s Greatest Bridge by Kevin Starr; 2010; $23.00; 215 pages; Bloomsbury Books, New York, NY; 978-1-59691-534-3; 624.230979461 S7963g; Checked out from Multnomah County Library, Gresham; 5/20-5/21

Why did I pick this up?  Because next month I am driving down the coast of California and will be crossing the Golden Gate for the first time.

What is the story?  Even before the bridge was built the entrance to the bay was known as the Golden Gate, the Spanish had a difficult time finding the bay at first.  For years the city had been finding a way to connect with the North and East bay, ferries got to be overcrowded and not efficient.  The city and counties around the bay, fought for years about financing and design and it took some very strong personalities to get the bridge built.  The design was a committee decision and the original design was scrapped and the lead engineer took more credit than he deserved and downplayed the contributions of others.  The author also, without being tedious, goes into the construction methods of the bridge and helps us understand why it works.

Did I like it?  Yes, Kevin Starr is an incredible author who takes very complex subject matter and makes it interesting and very readable.


What is with the title of the review?  I don’t remember ever being across the Golden Gate,  although my Dad informed me I had been when I was little.  I have been under the Golden Gate innumerable times when I was in the Navy.  I always knew I was home when I saw the bottom of the Golden Gate.