In this elegantly written and far-reaching narrative, the author of Water for Gotham tells the saga of the creation of the Erie Canal and the memorable characters who turned a visionary plan into a successful venture. Gerard Koeppel's long years of research provide abundant new findings about the construction of the canal and its enormous economic impact, providing a unique perspective on America's self-perception as an empire destined to expand to the Pacific.
"Monumental public works inspire—and typically deserve—grand exposure in books. The Erie Canal is no exception, even 184 years after its completion. This book is hardly the first to examine that feat, but it is one of the best.... Bond of Union provides some useful new information ... but shines mostly as an engaging narrative, stitching together the backstory and detailing the painful, step-by-step progress—and sometimes, lack thereof—as the grand ditch inched its way across the landscape."—Bloomsbury Review