...yearning to breathe free,the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me:I lift my lamp beside the golden door!—Emma Lazarus, 1883
The story of the Statue of Liberty is the story of a patriotic dreamer, a capable artist, an ingenious engineer, a talented poet and hundreds and thousands of French and American contributors. You will meet them all in Lady Liberty: A Biography.
The author, Doreen Rappaport, begins by telling of her own grandfather's (a Latvian immigrant) shipboard arrival into New York Harbor:
"The Lady! the Lady!" awakened him. He raced up to the deck. The ship was pulling into New York, and there was Lady Liberty greeting them all. Arms reached out as if to caress her. People lifted babies so they could see her. Tears ran down my grandfather's face. People around him were crying, too. And then a wave of cheering and hugging swept over the ship.
But how did she come to be? The answer is learned with introductions to the cast of characters responsible for creating this symbolic statue. Right down to young Florence of New Jersey who donated her two pet roosters to help pay for the pedestal! This is a well researched, organized, attractive book.