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SKYWALKERS by David Weitzman

SKYWALKERS

Mohawks on the High Steel

By David Weitzman

Age Range: 10 - 14

Pub Date: Sept. 14th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-59643-162-1
Publisher: Flash Point/Roaring Brook

Weaving together architectural, engineering and Native American history, Weitzman tells the fascinating story of how Mohawk Indian ironworkers helped construct the sprawling bridges and towering skyscrapers that dominate our urban landscape. The book begins with a brief but informative history of the Kanien'kéhaka—People of the Flint. Leaders in establishing the League of the Iroquois, a confederation of Indian nations in the New York region, Mohawks had a longstanding reputation for their sense of tight-knit community, attraction to danger and love for physical challenge, qualities that served them well when hired in the late 1800s to do the most arduous work in railroad and bridge construction. With the advent of the skyscraper, Mohawks possessing agility that seemed gravity-defying worked hundreds of feet above the ground. They were not immune to tragedy, and the author discusses in detail the collapse of the Québec Bridge that killed 31 Mohawk workers. Illustrated with black-and-white photographs that capture the daring spirit of these heroic workers, the concise, captivating account offers great insight into the little-known but considerable role Native Americans played in our architectural and engineering achievements. (glossary, bibliography, source notes, index) (Nonfiction. 10-14)