How did a simple design error cause one of the great disasters of the 1980s – the collapse of the walkways at the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel? What made the graceful and innovative Tacoma Narrows Bridge twist apart in a mild wind in 1940? How did an oversized waterlily inspire the magnificent Crystal Palace, the crowning achievement of Victorian architecture and engineering? These are some of the failures and successes that Henry Petroski, author of the acclaimed “The Pencil,” examines in this engaging, wonderfully literate book. More than a series of fascinating case studies, “To Engineer is Human” is a work that looks at our deepest notions of progress and perfection, tracing the fine connection between the quantifiable realm of science and the chaotic realities of everyday life.
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“Reading Petroski’s fine book is not only a delight, it is a necessity.” —Houston Chronicle
“Serious, amusing, probing, sometimes frightening, and always literate.” –Los Angeles Times
About Henry Petroski
Henry Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and a professor of history at Duke University. The author of a dozen previous books, he lives in Durham, North Carolina.
Published by Vintage Mar 31, 1992| 272 Pages| 5-3/16 x 8| ISBN 9780679734161