Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty

Mitchell, Elizabeth

Published by Atlantic Monthly Press
ISBN 10: 0802122574 / ISBN 13: 9780802122575
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Synopsis: 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 has persisted that the statue was a grand gift from France, but now Liberty's Torch reveals how she was in fact the pet 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 to raise money for the statue and make her a reality.

A young sculptor inspired by a trip to Egypt where he saw the pyramids and Sphinx, he traveled to America, carrying with him the idea of a colossal statue of a woman. There he enlisted the help of notable people of the age - including Ulysses S. Grant, Joseph Pulitzer, Victor Hugo, Gustave Eiffel, and Thomas Edison - to help his scheme. He also came up with inventive ideas to raise money, including exhibiting the torch at the Phildaelphia world's fair and charging people to climb up inside. While the French and American governments dithered, Bartholdi made the statue a reality by his own entrepreneurship, vision, and determination.

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An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2014: The real story of Lady Liberty doesn't come close to what Americans have been taught. The Statue of Liberty wasn’t designed as a symbol of freedom; it began life as a sculpture of an Egyptian slave. It wasn’t a "gift" from the French; it was an orphan in need of a home. Elizabeth Mitchell's myth-busting Liberty’s Torch is a hoot of a story packed with entertaining cameos by Victor Hugo, Ulysses Grant, Thomas Edison, and more. At center stage is the maddeningly egotistical artiste Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, a snobbish boor who disliked America and her "subpar" people. Yet, through persistence and will, he found a home for his statue in New York Harbor and wooed newspaper magnate Joseph Pulitzer into raising money for the pedestal on Bedlow's Island, a former military fort. (One of Pulitzer's fund-raising contests yielded the poem by Emma Lazarus that’s inscribed on the statue's base: "Give me your tired, your poor...") After nearly twenty years of construction, with the artist using his mother as the model for the statue's face, Liberty--by far the tallest statue in the world, at over 300 feet--was unveiled to near unanimous adoration on October 28, 1886. Relying on Bartholdi's diaries and letters, Mitchell reveals the unlikely truth behind a sculptor’s obsession becoming a nation's icon. --Neal Thompson

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Title: Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to ...
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine

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Elizabeth Mitchell
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Book Description Grove/Atlantic, Incorporated. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0802122574I4N00

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