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Over a 14 year period, workers removed a half million tons of stone, digging as deep as a 120 feet, to carve the four presidents on Mount Rushmore.  The scale was, and is, unprecedented.  Washington’s face spans 60 feet, his nose 20 feet, and each eye, 11 feet; Roosevelt’s mustache spreads another 20 feet, while Lincoln’s mole requires a mere 16 inches.  The total cost, most of it footed by the federal government, was only $989,992.32, more than repaid by the 50 million visitors since 1930.

Mount Rushmore tells the story of the project and the man who made it possible.  Ego, drive, and vision marked Gutzon Borglum.  The intemperate artist turned sculptor made his reputation in the early 1900s fashioning pieces like the bust of Abraham Lincoln that Teddy Roosevelt displayed in the White House.  A commission to carve a Confederate memorial at Stone Mountain in Georgia, however, ended in disaster.  Progress on the 1500-foot memorial proved sluggish and money was always in short supply.  When the backers accused Borglum of mismanaging funds, he destroyed the models for the memorial and walked away from the project.  His reputation reached an all-time low.

Click here for the full review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.

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