"One corner of the great American panorama enlarged to highlight starry-eyed visionaries, political machinations, indefatigable ingenuity, and cockeyed optimism": First Edition of Wedding of the Waters; Inscribed by Peter L. Bernstein

  • Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation.

Wedding of the Waters: The Erie Canal and the Making of a Great Nation.


Item Number: 283

New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2005.

First edition. Octavo, original half cloth. Warmly inscribed by the author to a fellow historian, "For ____ ______ with gratitude and friendship Peter L. Bernstein." Fine in a near fine dust jacket with a small closed tear.

First proposed in 1808 and completed 17 years later, the Erie Canal was the first great feat of macroengineering undertaken by the infant American republic. Bernstein shows in his eloquent account, the canal—stretching 363 miles from the Hudson River to Lake Erie—reshaped not only the economic landscape of the eastern seaboard but the political and social landscape as well. Bernstein vividly relates the political battles fought over the high-priced project and the work of surveyors, engineers and laborers. The canal was in particular an economic engine for New York, bringing down the cost of shipping goods between Buffalo and Manhattan by a whopping 90%. "Almost impossible to imagine what the country would be like had it not been built. Bernstein does it full justice" (Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post Book World).

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