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The Golden Gate Bridge links the urbanity of San Francisco with the wild
headlands of Marin County, as if to suggest the paradox of California
and America itself-the place that Fitzgerald saw as the last spot
commensurate with the human capacity for wonder. The bridge, completed
in 1937, also announced to the world America's engineering prowess and
full assumption of its destined continental dominance. The Golden Gate
is a counterpart to the Statue of Liberty, pronouncing American
achievement in an unmistakable American fashion. The nation's very
history is expressed in the bridge's art deco style and stark
Kevin Starr's Golden Gate is a brilliant and
passionate telling of the history of the bridge, and the rich and
peculiar history of the California experience. The Golden Gate is a
grand public work, a symbol and a very real bridge, a magnet for both
postcard photographs and suicides. In this compact but comprehensive
narrative, Starr unfolds the hidden-in-plain-sight meaning of the Golden
Gate, putting it in its place among classic works of art.

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