“Chief Engineer” tells the story of Washington Roebling, the engineer known for building one of the most iconic American structures, the Brooklyn Bridge. “Chief Engineer” reveals that his father, John-a renowned engineer who made his life in America after humble beginnings in Germany-was a tyrannical presence in Washington's life, so his own adoption of that career was hard-won. A young man when the Civil War broke out, Washington joined the Union Army, building bridges that carried soldiers across rivers and seeing action in many pivotal battles, from Antietam to Gettysburg-aspects of his life never before fully brought to light. Safely returned, he married the remarkable Emily Warren Roebling, who would play a crucial role in the construction of the unprecedented Brooklyn Bridge. It would be Washington Roebling's grandest achievement but by no means the only one.
Erica Wagner was literary editor of The Times for seventeen years, and she is now a contributing writer for New Statesman and consulting literary editor for Harper's Bazaar, as well as writing for many publications in Britain and the United States.
Description courtesy of Bloomsbury USA.