“Journalist Elizabeth Mitchell recounts the captivating story behind the familiar monument that readers may have assumed they knew everything about.” Sam Roberts, New York Times
The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty
978-0-8021-2379-4 • $17.00 • Paperback • July 2015
“An absolutely brilliant and entertaining book. A delightful romp through a seemingly impossible history. It’s a bit amazing how much I didn’t know about the best-known statue in America, or its maker, Frederic Bartholdia character so brazen and outrageous and charming that his life reads like a picaresque nineteenth- century novel. I delighted in every page.” Elizabeth Gilbert, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love
The Statue of Liberty is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world, a powerful symbol of freedom and the American Dream. For decades, the myth persisted that the statue was a grand gift from France, but now Liberty’s Torch reveals how she was indeed the huge project of one quixotic and visionary French sculptor: Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. Bartholdi not only forged this 151-foot-tall colossus in a workshop in Paris and transported her across the ocean, but battled setback after setback in order to raise the money for the statue and make her a reality. Inspired by the great pyramids of Egyptthe statue was originally planned to crown the Suez CanalBartholdi came to America and enlisted the help of many notables of the age, including Ulysses S. Grant, Joseph Pulitzer, Gustave Eiffel, and Thomas Edison, in order to make his statue a reality. Riveting, elegantly told, and drawing on newly discovered sources, Liberty’s Torch traces the building of the Statue of Liberty in all its rich historical detail, recounting the all-but-forgotten tale of an extraordinary artist and entrepreneur who fought setback after setback to create a wonder of the modern world.