My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Expecting a history of a specific obelisk, I found this short book packed with stories of several others as well, traced to their ancient Egyptian origins and followed through their relocations in Europe and America. Also included was an abundance of trivial facts in the footnotes (what did the death of John Quincy Adams have to do with the Washington Monument!?), which I must admit I absolutely loved. While the naval, mechanical, and architectural terms were sometimes out of my grasp, this was written plainly enough to understand what was happening and how it was happening. Gordon reveals the magnitude of the incredible feats accomplished in the making and erecting these monuments millennia ago, moving them in the nineteenth century, and the equally difficult challenge of getting assistance for Washington’s Monument from a burdened and weary Congress.