Pushing the Limits by Henry Petroski
New Adventures in Engineering

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Here are two dozen tales in the grand adventure of engineering from the Henry Petroski, who has been called America’s poet laureate of technology. Pushing the Limits celebrates some of the largest things we have created–bridges, dams, buildings--and provides a startling new vision of engineering’s past, its present, and its future. Along the way it highlights our greatest successes, like London’s Tower Bridge; our most ambitious projects, like China’s Three Gorges Dam; our most embarrassing moments, like the wobbly Millennium Bridge in London; and our greatest failures, like the collapse of the twin towers on September 11. Throughout, Petroski provides fascinating and provocative insights into the world of technology with his trademark erudition and enthusiasm for the subject.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Henry Petroski

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Henry Petroski's previous books include To Engineer Is Human, which was developed into a BBC television documentary; The Pencil; The Evolution of Useful Things; and Engineers of Dreams. Petroski is the Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of History at Duke University.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 304 pages
Genres: History, Computers & Technology, Arts & Photography, Professional & Technical, Science & Math. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Pushing the Limits

Kirkus Reviews

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The subtitle is clumsy and misleading: the narrative ranges well back into the 19th century for examples and uses the massive collapse of California’s St. Francis Dam, which killed hundreds in 1928, as the prime illustration of Petroski’s principle that “a great failure is the perfect counterexam...

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Publishers Weekly

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The tendency of chapters to drift toward soft conclusions isn't disruptive in the first half of the book, devoted to bridges around the world, but the second half, which encompasses subjects ranging from the creation of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, to the destruction of the World Trade...

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Project MUSE

It is likely that most readers of T&C have read at least one of Henry Petroski's books on engineering and design.

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