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9780375700248

Remaking the World: Adventures in Engineering

Petroski, Henry Author

9780375700248: Remaking the World: Adventures in Engineering

Science/Engineering


"Petroski has an inquisitive mind, and he is a fine writer. . . . [He] takes us on a lively tour of engineers, their creations and their necessary turns of mind."   --Los Angeles Times

From the Ferris wheel to the integrated circuit, feats of engineering have changed our environment in countless ways, big and small. In Remaking the World: Adventures in Engineering, Duke University's Henry Petroski focuses on the big: Malaysia's 1,482-foot Petronas Towers as well as the Panama Canal, a cut through the continental divide that required the excavation of 311 million cubic yards of earth.
        Remaking the World tells the stories behind the man-made wonders of the world, from squabbles over the naming of the Hoover Dam to the effects the Titanic disaster had on the engineering community of 1912. Here, too, are the stories of the
personalities behind the wonders, from the jaunty Isambard Kingdom Brunel, designer of nineteenth-century transatlantic steamships, to Charles Steinmetz, oddball genius of the General Electric Company, whose office of preference was a battered twelve-foot canoe. Spirited and absorbing, Remaking the World is a celebration of the creative instinct and of the men and women whose inspirations have immeasurably improved our world.

"Petroski [is] America's poet laureate of technology. . . . Remaking the World is another fine book."   --Houston Chronicle

"Remaking the World really is an adventure in engineering."
--San Diego Union-Tribune

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Review:

Engineers, Henry Petroski observes, are sometimes their own worst enemies, at least so far as communicating their work to the general public is concerned. Some engineers, of course, have been exceptions. One of the unlikely heroes of Petroski's Remaking the World, an entertaining foray into some of engineering's finest (and, on occasion, less exalted) moments, is Karl August Rudolf Steinmetz, who combined a great talent for design and engineering with a keenly practiced flair for self-promotion. Another is Washington Gale Ferris, the inventor of the Ferris wheel, who concocted several dangerous eyesores before arriving at the design familiar to amusement-park patrons.

Successful at explaining themselves or not, engineers are largely responsible for the world as we know it, and Petroski examines their work to discuss how good design and technology combine to produce the desired results. That combination involves much trial and error, and, as Petroski writes, "artifacts from paper clips to steamships evolve by removing some real or perceived failure of their ancestors to achieve unqualified success." Drawing on examples from past and present, Petroski offers an up-close view of how engineers do their work, and his history is full of surprises and pleasures. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University, where he also serves as chairman of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The author of seven previous books, he has received grants from the National Science Foundation and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Humanities Center.


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Book Description Vintage, 1998. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: CONTENTS Images of an Engineer Alfred Nobel's Prizes Henry Martyn Robert James Nasmyth On the Backs of Envelopes Good Drawings and Bad Dreams Failed Promises In Context Men and Women of Progress Soil Mechanics Is Technology Wired? Harnessing Steam TheGreat Eastern Driven by Economics The Panama Canal The Ferris Wheel Hoover Dam The Channel Tunnel The Petronas Towers. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0375700242

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Book Description Vintage. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0375700242 Exploring the role of engineers in transforming and shaping the modern world, the author of The Evolution of Useful Things elucidates the principles of engineering as he looks at such achievements as the English Channel tunnel, the Panama Canal, and the Hoover Dam. Reprint. 15,000 first printing. Bookseller Inventory # 4761290

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Vintage Books ed. 198 x 130 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. This collection of informative and pleasurable essays by Henry Petroski elucidates the role of engineers in shaping our environment in countless ways, big and small. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780375700248

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