Big Dams and Other Dreams
The Six Companies Story
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
356 Pages | 6 x 9 | 18 b&w illus., 2 maps
A freewheeling saga about western American industrial might
Who conceived of the Hoover, Bonneville, and Grand Coulee dams? Who laid the financial foundations for the Golden Gate and San Francisco Bay bridges? In Big Dams and Other Dreams, Donald E. Wolf recounts how the interests of the visionary men behind these projects coincided during the early twentieth century, what they accomplished, and what has become of the empires they created.
In twelve colorful, thoroughly researched chapters, Wolf gracefully renders the story of Six Companies, a combine of firms led by industrial giants Henry J. Kaiser, Marriner Eccles, Harry Morrison, Charles Swigert, Philip Hart, Felix Kahn, and Charlie Shea, among others. Together, these executives played a major role in developing the modern American West and in building the structures we associate with it. Then, as World War II threatened, they undertook ever more spectacular projects.
Using a wide range of sources and interviews, Wolf weaves personal, political, and industrial history into a compelling account that will appeal to historians and general readers alike.