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Chief Engineer - Washington Roebling

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Erica Wagner wrote the first full biography of a crucial figure in the American story–Washington Roebling, builder of the Brooklyn Bridge. His father conceived of the Brooklyn Bridge, but after John Roebling’s sudden death, Washington Roebling built what has become one of America’s most iconic structures–as much a part of New York as the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building. Yet, as recognizable as the bridge is, its builder is too often forgotten–and his life is of interest far beyond his chosen field. It is the story of immigrants, of the frontier, of the greatest crisis in American history and of the making of the modern world.

Erica Wagner has been fascinated by the Brooklyn Bridge and its builder since she first set foot on its span as a girl. Chief Engineer: Washington Roebling, The Man Who Built the Brooklyn Bridge, was published by Bloomsbury in 2017. Born in New York, she lives in London; she was the literary editor of the London Times for seventeen years and is now a contributing writer for the New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper’s Bazaar. Her work has appeared in the Guardian, the Economist, the Financial Times, and the New York Times, among others. She is also the author of Ariel’s Gift, Seizure, and the short story collection Gravity; she is the editor of First Light: A Celebration of Alan Garner. She was the recipient of the Eccles British Library Writer’s Award in 2014, and she is a lecturer in creative writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

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