The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge

The Final Leap Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world It is also the most deadly Since it opened in than people have died jumping off the bridge

  • Title: The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Author: John Bateson
  • ISBN: 9780520272408
  • Page: 254
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world It is also the most deadly Since it opened in 1937, than 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge, making it the top suicide site on earth It s also the only international landmark without a suicide barrier Weaving drama, tragedy, and politics against the backdroThe Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most beautiful and most photographed structures in the world It is also the most deadly Since it opened in 1937, than 1,500 people have died jumping off the bridge, making it the top suicide site on earth It s also the only international landmark without a suicide barrier Weaving drama, tragedy, and politics against the backdrop of a world famous city, The Final Leapis the first book ever written about Golden Gate Bridge suicides John Bateson leads us on a fascinating journey that uncovers the reasons for the design decision that led to so many deaths, provides insight into the phenomenon of suicide, and examines arguments for and against a suicide barrier He tells the stories of those who have died, the few who have survived, and those who have been affected from loving families to the Coast Guard, from the coroner to suicide prevention advocates.

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      Posted by:John Bateson
      Published :2019-08-04T20:44:16+00:00

    About “John Bateson

    • John Bateson

      For 16 years I was executive director of a nationally certified crisis intervention and suicide prevention center in the San Francisco Bay Area I have also been executive director of three university run counseling centers and assistant director of a two county social service agency Three of my books The Last and Greatest Battle Oxford University Press, 2015 , The Final Leap University of California Press, 2012 , and Building Hope Praeger Press, 2008 are related to this work My latest book, The Education of a Coroner, just came out in August 2017 from Scribner.

    496 thoughts on “The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golden Gate Bridge

    • I found this book exceedingly hard to rate and even more difficult to review. I’m too opinionated and too close to the subject.The book was definitely published now because this year is the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. Since 1937 when the bridge opened, there have been 3,500-4,000 people who’ve leaped from it to their deaths, and a paltry 32 or so who’ve survived a leap, the latter almost all in their teens and twenties and physically fit and healthy. Very little in this boo [...]

    • Call it morbid but I am fascinated by Golden Gate bridge suicides. As a local icon there is hardly a more recognizable spot in my area. It is undeniably a beautiful structure, a tourist magnet, a source of pride for locals. But many of the things that make it attractive to locals and travelers also make it attractive to people with suicidal thoughts: it is accessible, historic and a mythic. For someone contemplating suicide the bridge is easy to get to, presents no physical barriers and leaves l [...]

    • The book is basically a 309-page argument for the erection of an anti-suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge. I had known the bridge was a suicide hotspot and a few dozen people listed on my missing persons website are thought to have died there, but I didn't realize the toll was so high: more than 1,500 confirmed deaths and probably the true number is closer to 2,000. In the first book ever written on the subject of GGB suicides, Bateson interviewed the families of jumpers, the very few who [...]

    • Since the Golden Gate Bridge opened in 1937 there have been more than 1500 confirmed suicides, making it one of the top suicide sites in the world. As Bateson explains (at great lengthd yes, I agree with him, but the book gets repetitive) what the bridge needs is a suicide barrier. It does not have one and as of this writing may never have one; despite the fact that the Bridge District board members voted in October 2008 in favor of a barrier net, they have raised no money and made no effort to [...]

    • This book was so frustrating. There's a really good book in there. I think the editor just forgot to find it. It felt more like a series of essays that were cobbled together rather than a cohesive book, and that led to a lot of things being said repeatedly. Seriously, the book used the words "bridge jumpers" and "the Golden Gate Bridge" so many times, I wondered if the author had a word count to meet and wasn't sure how else to fulfill it. The book is titled "The Final Leap: Suicide on the Golde [...]

    • An interesting book – containing some surprising facts and thoughtful stories – and not badly written. However this is nothing more than the author’s platform for arguing to add suicide barriers to the Golden Gate Bridge. It's very one sided and he's relentless. He could have accomplished this in many less pages without continually restating his opinion or he could have balanced it with other perspectives. Also there are numerous typos (‘meridian’ vs. ‘median’) including several gl [...]

    • Well researched, thoughtful, easy to understand and informative. I'll never look at the GG Bridge the same way again.It's the site of the most suicides in the world.It's time a barrier is added, people!!!

    • I had to write a paper for a class - research paper on a current movement in our culture. Being me, I chose the movement for a suicide barrier on the golden gate bridge. Living in the bay area with a lifetime of depression, the golden gate has always been a double-edged sword in the background. I was appalled to discover that between 1600-3200 have leapt to their deaths there and that 4 small children have been murdered by their fathers (thrown from the deck) there - and that this is easily 3-6x [...]

    • If it takes you a week to read this book, and the Golden Gate Bridge still doesn't have a suicide deterrent, odds are that another tortured soul will have jumped before you finish. (22)Bateson's book boils down to one point and one point only: build a barrier. For a tough topic, it's actually a pretty smooth read—lots of statistics (I love statistics) and personal stories and comparison points. But Bateson comes in with an agenda. I'm not arguing that he shouldn't, actually, and nor am I argui [...]

    • The author meant well, and he did shed light on a difficult subject, but a better name for this book would probably be: An Argument for a Suicide Barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge. This is what the book is about, and comes back to time and time again -- the need for that barrier and the reasons why it hasn't yet been enacted. While this book mentions the movie "The Bridge," the author has not done in depth research about the people who have ended their lives at this location. Learning more about [...]

    • [4.5 stars.] Upon reading some of the reviews here, I do agree that there is some repetitiveness about the "agenda" of a barrier, but I think it's obvious, common sense, that this book wouldn't be written if there was one in place (or at least, have an entirely different tone). Yes its one-sided - it's about Suicide Prevention from, wait, where? The Golden Gate Bridge! Regardless of what you think of suicide or what the author's "agenda" is Get it through your head, memorize and know this: Suici [...]

    • This book is largely informative and goes about cost-benefit analysis of building a suicide barrier for the Golden Gate Bridge to prove that it can be done; the book also discusses specific Bridge suicides to create an impassioned plea for that barrier. I knew next to nothing about the Golden Gate Bridge deaths and while this book discusses them in great detail, this is less of a sensationalized or exploitative portrait and more of an educational discourse on what makes people jump from the brid [...]

    • I had personal reasons for wanting to read this book, but I wasn't prepared to be unable to put it down. It is impossible to read this book and not feel outraged, saddened, surprised, and even a little bereft. This book is an incredible read. Living so close to the GGB, it's difficult to resist the urge to visit the bridge after having read this.I suppose I could be considered an amateur thanatologist, with a special interest in suicide. This book provides many fascinating (and shocking) facts a [...]

    • I found this book because of an article I read on CNN about the installation of suicide nets on the Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently over the years since the bridge's construction 1,600 people have killed themselves by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge making it the number one suicide spot in the world and I had never heard about it. Interested to learn more I found this book which was very enlightening. Apparently all of the world's landmarks have suicide nets, Sydney Opera House, Eiffel Tower, [...]

    • I read the ebook version of this book as background research for the novel I wrote during National Novel Writing Month in November 2012. It's an eye-opener, replacing suicide mythology with facts and figures. For example, many assert that there's no point in putting up a barrier on a bridge because people will just find another way to kill themselves. But that's not true, according to the research. People with suicide on the mind fixate on one method and if that method is blocked won't use anoth [...]

    • A good book--the topic is something that needs to be addressed. However, I felt the writing wasn't as polished as it should have been--there were several typos and I felt that a lot of the information was rehashed throughout the book; that is, the author was reusing the same information in different chapters. This book could have been at least fifty pages shorter if the repeated information was deleted. Still, it's an interesting book and the author is definitely pro-barrier--and there's nothing [...]

    • As a former resident of the Bay Area, and someone who's always been captivated by the beauty, history and majesty of the Golden Gate Bridge, I've also found the "dark side" of the GGB, and it's conflict with the "light side," fascinating as well.I was drawn to this book after watching the 2005 documentary film, The Bridge, which documented actual suicides off of the GGB, as well as interviews with jumpers' families, witnesses, and even a surviving jumper himself, Kevin Hines. This book covers si [...]

    • Not for the faint-hearted, and the subject matter won't appeal to many, but this is an important book nonetheless. What price do you put on a single human life? How about more than 1,500 of them? Bateson does a marvelous job of drawing you in to the psychic agony that inspires suicidal thoughts, to the grief and devastation suffered by families of suicides, to the mythical appeal of the Golden Gate Bridge as the suicide venue of choice. He debunks the myth that the final leap offers a clean, pa [...]

    • 4/5In Stockholm, the tallest bridge is called Västerbron. Annually, around three people took their lives there and that was enough for a suicide barrier to be erected. I saw a documentary called The Bridge a couple of years ago and I was baffled to find out that around 30 people jumped to their deaths at the Golden Gate Bridge every year and there still wasn't a barrier there. I've been following the debate ever since and I'm glad they've finally decide to fund the erection of a suicide barrier [...]

    • Essentially, the title says it all - this book is a fairly comprehensive look at suicides that occur on the Golden Gate Bridge (successful and unsuccessful), and the history of the battle to get a suicide barrier erected in place. Overall, I found myself somewhat morbidly obsessed with this topic - it is something I've been aware of, but hasn't realized how many suicides there had been. I thought it was informative and passionate, however the discussions about why a barrier hasn't been erected y [...]

    • CuriousI was curious about this topic for some reason. This was a very interesting read about the allure of The Bridge.

    • This book covered the history of suicide from the Golden Gate bridge -- an astonishing 1500 plus people have so ended their lives. The author's belief is that a suicide barrier (higher railing) like those installed on other world landmarks, such as the Eiffel Tower, would end the carnage. The stories include many many sad tales, and some deeply disturbing cases, such as young teens ending their lives and fathers killing a child AND themselves. Horrific. I agree that a barrier is needed and there [...]

    • This book was wonderful. The book tells a story that most try very hard not to think about; suicide. And in brining to light the sad topic it also tells us something else. There is no suicide barrier on the golden gate bridgewhy? Because they didn't want to interfer with the scenery. Messed up. Because no one wanted to mess up the image of the golden gate bridge, thousands have died, and this book brings that to light. I highly recommend everyone read it, whether you like that kind of thing or n [...]

    • This book was filled with information an history I the Golden Gate Bridge and it was interesting. It was hard to read since it was depressing and sad, how they can't put a suicide barrier is just absurd since it's one of the monuments where people commit suicide on the other hand it's understand since it is an easy way to die and their is no mess but I really have to disagree with that every other monument(major) has a barrier as mentioned in the book but according to cost they can't afford one [...]

    • Here's the thing: This book isn't a work of art. It's not something you read for inventive narrative or anything. It's more of a 250-page position paper on why there should be a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge. But, as that sort of a document, I have to admit, it was pretty effective. I've always been of the opinion that if somebody want to jump, who am I to tell him not to? But when you look at all the nuances of it, it really does seem that we need to do something about the Bridge as [...]

    • This book changed that way I looked at two things: the Golden Gate Bridge and suicide. Not only does Bateson thoroughly expose the bridge Authority's criminal inaction and indifference, he also explores how we as a society deal with (or rather try to ignore) suicides. An easily accessible read that everyone, whether they live near the bridge or not, whether suicide has impacted them or not, should read. I would have given it 5 stars were it not for the occasional auto-correct mistake.

    • I won't elaborate on the points made by the other reviewers because I really don't have anything new to add. However, I can understand the despair that causes one to not only contemplate suicide but to attempt it as well but what I couldn't wrap my head around was the parents that just threw their children over before following suit. Sickened me for sure!

    • This book was very informational. It provided a very compelling argument about the need for a suicide barrier on the Golden gate Bridge. I am so highly in favor of something i did not even know was an issue until reading this book, it is interesting to think what might happen if more people were informed about this tragedy?

    • Interesting look at the Golden Gate Bridge. It seems mainly focused on convincing us of the need for a suicide barrier. Paired with The Bridge, a film by Eric Steel you have to agree with them. Good portraits of victims and families. Also stories of people who lived after the jump. Tough reading, but good information.

    • As several reviewers note, the book tries to marshal support for a suicide barrier on the Golden Gate Bridge. Aside from that argument, I found interesting the stories of a few individuals who jumped from the Bridge, and survived. Their lives turned around and they found new purpose in the months and years after they were recovered from the San Francisco Bay. A grim but interesting account.

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