Civil Engineers are People

by David McCullough, Historian; West Tisbury, Mass.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1978, Vol. 48, Issue 12, Pg. 46-50


Document Type: Feature article

Errata: (See full record)

Abstract: Historians have failed to recognize the giants among history's engineers as among our civilization's great men. Instead, great generals, politicians and artists have received most acclaim. Now comes David McCullough, author of two best-selling and highly acclaimed books on history of civil engineering landmarks (Brooklyn Bridge, Panama Canal) of the late 19th and early 20th century. He says the most outstanding of civil engineers were among the great men of their era. And not only because of their management and technical skills and the trailbreaking projects they led. Equally or more important were their vision and breadth, their humanity. As for their projects—their Panama Canals and Brooklyn Bridges—their key contribution was not that they were mammoth projects, but that they lifted the human spirit, encouraged people to dream great dreams, to tackle the audacious. The projects were the centerpieces of their can-do age.

Subject Headings: Civil engineering landmarks | History | Engineers | Management | Social factors

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