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208 × 156 mm
240 pages
127 illustrations, 36 in colour
07 Jun 2008
  • £20.00

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Bridge Peter Bishop

Whether a humble string of planks swaying across a trickling stream or the soaring towers of the Golden Gate Bridge, bridges are one of man’s great engineering feats. In Bridge, Peter Bishop provides a comprehensive historical account of their role in the advancement of human culture.

From ancient Roman arches to the rail bridge of Lhasa to the suspension bridge over Niagara Falls, we traverse in this book the full span of the globe to examine numerous types of bridges and their diverse architectural styles. Bridge includes iconic examples such as the Brooklyn, Sydney Harbour and London’s Millennium bridges and ‘mega-spans’ such as Hong Kong’s Tsing Ma Bridge; the integral role of bridges in railroad networks; and the social dynamics of class and mobility that surround urban bridges in cities such as New York. Drawing upon sources in art, politics, science, philosophy and the media, Bishop argues that the cultural meaning of bridges today revolves around the idea of expanding geographical claims, rather than connecting to others, and he explores the implications of that idea for the future.

A fascinating and richly illustrated study, Bridge will engage enthusiasts of planning, architecture and design alike.

‘. . . an excellent book, consistently thought-provoking . . . it emphasised to me that much of what goes unchallenged by bridge engineers is just the result of our immersion in one of many possible stories about bridges and their creation. This book offers some of those diverse narratives, while making clear that many more remain to be told.’ – The Happy Pontist

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Peter Bishop is Associate Professor in the School of Communications, Information and New Media, at the University of South Australia. He is the author of many books including, most recently, An Archetypal Constable: National Identity and The Geography of Nostalgia (1995).