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Trachtenberg, Alan. Brooklyn Bridge: Fact and Symbol. New York: Oxford University Press, 1965.
The Brooklyn Bridge, for Trachtenberg, represents the myth of America--the melodramatic narrative in which nature's laws give way to progress through technology. The bridge is placed within this narrative as the philosophical ideal which is transformed into physical reality by the designs of the heroic Roeblings, father and son. An heir to Hegelian ideals, the bridge is seen as the result of a synthesis between poetic vision and economic practicality. The ascent of the bridge from fact to symbol is documented through an analysis of Hart Crane's poetry and the images of Walker Evans, John Marin and Joseph Stella. As one of the seminal "myth-symbol" works in American Studies, Brooklyn Bridge offers the bridge as an emblem of a unified American character while the interplay between the physical landscape and cognitive landscape is discussed primarily in terms of the great figures: the engineers, the writers, the financiers, the politicians and the artists, with little attention given to the communities the bridge connected or the workers who executed the design. [P. Schwab]