Hoover Dam: An American Adventure

Joseph E. Stevens, Author University of Oklahoma Press $26.95 (326p) ISBN 978-0-8061-2115-4
Hoover Dam was the supreme engineering feat of its time (1931-1935), a triumph of American ingenuity and technology. More than half a century later, even with bigger and more sophisticated dams, it remains the benchmark, the granddaddy of big dams, yet this is the first full story of Hoover Dam from conception through construction to completion. Stevens has written a riveting history that reads like a novel; he captures our attention at the beginning and holds it throughout. Here is a powerful evocation of Depression times, of shantytowns in the desert, of hazardous working conditions. Stevens shows us men working in superheated tunnels permeated with carbon monoxide and daredevil scalers high on the canyon walls. We meet the chief field engineer Frank Crowe, who got the project completed two years ahead of schedule; officers of the Six Companies who gambled on the feasibility of building the dam and won; Sims Ely, dictator of the government town, Boulder City; and much of the labor force. Stevens lays to rest the lore that workers are buried in concrete; while the accident rate was high, bodies were always recovered. Superb Americana. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/25/1988
Release date: 05/01/1988
Paperback - 336 pages - 978-0-8061-2283-0
Hardcover - 329 pages - 978-0-585-16897-5
Show other formats
Discover what to read next