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Pushing the Limits

Best Seller
Pushing the Limits by Henry Petroski
Paperback $16.95
Sep 13, 2005 | ISBN 9781400032945

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  • Sep 13, 2005 | ISBN 9781400032945

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  • Dec 18, 2007 | ISBN 9780307427366

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Product Details


"A fascinating potpourri of history, engineering, and imagination, all presented in the fluid, humane writing style that we have come to expect from this author." —The Washington Post Book World

"A pleasure. . . . It is a measure of Mr. Petroski’s skill and sensibility that his essays about structures made of steel and stone so frequently provide a sense of that large humanity, as well." —New York Sun

“He writes clearly about complicated subjects, and provides lucid explanations and penetrating insights.” —The New York Review of Books

"Henry Petroski turns an expert eye on the technology–and economics and vanity–behind [building]. The most compelling chapters concern disasters, from the collapse to the World Trade Center to the whip-snapping death of the Tacoma Narrows bridge. These essays are elegantly written and consistently thought-provoking." —New Scientist

"Henry Petroski has become the main emissary from the world of engineering to the rest of us. . . . He brings clarity and good sense to his subject, making the enigmatic world of things a little less mystifying." —Austin American-Statesman

"Petroski writes . . . with the observant eye of an engineer and the imaginative heart of a novelist." —Los Angeles Times

"An unlikely combination of mathematical brain power and a more irrational curiosity. . . . Petroski not only can put science in laymen’s terms, but also can do so without killing its magic." —The Christian Science Monitor

"Petroski . . . asks us to see the extraordinary in the ordinary." —Chicago Tribune

"[There is] pleasure [in] seeing Henry Petroski’s playful mind at work." —Scientific American

Table Of Contents



Art in Iron and Steel
Bridges of America
Benjamin Franklin Bridge
Floating Bridges
Confederation Bridge
Pont de Normandie
Britannia Bridge
Tower Bridge
Drawing Bridges
An Eye-Opening Bridge
Millennium Legacies
Broken Bridges
New and Future Bridges


Dorton Arena
Santiago Calatrava
Fazlur Khan
The Fall of Skyscrapers
Vanities of the Bonfire
St. Francis Dam
Three Gorges Dam
Fuel Cells
Engineers’ Dreams
Engineers’ Achievements

Acknowledgments and Bibliography
List of Illustrations and Credits

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