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Publisher's Summary

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 Philadelphia 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.
©2014 Elizabeth Mitchell. Recorded by arrangement with Grove/Atlantic, Inc. (P)2014 Audible Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Andi Ackerman narrates this fascinating account of Liberty's birth, adding a bit of jauntiness for some intriguing characters who are central to her existence. Ackerman provides a serviceably mild French accent for the voice of Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the arrogant sculptor who first tried to sell Liberty as a gigantic Egyptian slave for the entrance to the Suez Canal. Ackerman seems to scoff slightly as she reveals Bartholdi's desperately creative fundraising methods." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Andy on 08-29-14

quite a journey

Great story of the long journey involved in getting the Statue of Liberty from the mind of an artist to an island off the southern tip of Manhattan. Lots of interesting detail and a great narrator.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Lisa on 02-15-16

Detailed and Dull

What did you like best about Liberty's Torch? What did you like least?

The story of how the statue came to be is interesting but the book gets into too many details and describes them in dull prose.

What could Elizabeth Mitchell have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Shorten it and focus more on the personalties involved and less on the details of the fundraising that went into rising the money to pay and mount the statue.

Did Andi Ackerman do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Very little differentiation . Her pronunciation of some of the French terms was wrong. And her reading is more suitable for commercials than for books.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Hell no!

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