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Augustine's Laws, Sixth Edition Hardcover – January 1, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-1563472404 ISBN-10: 1563472406 Edition: 6th

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Augustine's Laws, Sixth Edition + Unwritten Laws of Engineering: Revised and Updated Edition + Skunk Works: A Personal Memoir of My Years at Lockheed
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 395 pages
  • Publisher: AIAA; 6th edition (January 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1563472406
  • ISBN-13: 978-1563472404
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #518,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Norman R. Augustine is Chairman of Lockheed Martin Corporation, the nation's largest aerospace/defense corporation and among the top thirty firms on the Fortune 500 List. He has held numerous high-level posts in government and private industry, including Undersecretary of the Army and Vice President of LTV Corporation, Chairman of the Council of Governors of the American Red Cross, and President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Mr. Augustine has five times received the Department of Defense's highest civilian award, the Distinguished Service Medal, holds 13 honorary degrees, and has authored or coauthored three books. He lives in Potomac, Maryland.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 4, 1998
I would not have ever expected to find myself laughing out loud, nor even smiling often while reading a book that discusses government projects and corporations who contract them. Norman Augustine provides a clear and critical insight into the corporate-government affairs world with just enough graphs and charts to make it comprehensible yet not overbearing. I found it as light reading - which is a virtue on it's own when reading about such complex a subject.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 23, 1998
Norm Augustine has captured the government defense aerospace industry "sprawling on a pin" for dissection. In one particularly humorous bit he points out that just when the aerospace industry's trend to more and more expensive combat aircraft looked like it might be stalled since adding weight is anathema to aircraft -- along came something expensive and weightless to fill the gap -- software! This is one terrific book! Just the figure showing there is no correlation between what executives are paid and the performance of their companies is worth the price of admission.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Lenda on December 19, 2009
"Augustine's Laws" should be required reading for everyone going into engineering or business school. This book taught me more about project management and the problems therein than the required text for my graduate-level course in CU's Aerospace Engineering department.

I was reading the reviews of this book on its back cover, and one in particular stands out: Scott Adams, creator of "Dilbert," said, "This is the only book that ever made me mutter, 'we're all doomed,' while laughing at the same time." I am of the same sentiment. I just shake my head with each story that Augustine tells, muttering, "Oh my God, oh my God, we're all screwed." One could probably summarize the 52 laws into a single one: Don't try anything because nothing will work. I am hysterical at the wittiness of this book.

The best bits in this book are the plots he makes. Yes, the plots. Engineers love well-titled, cleverly-built, wonderfully intuitive plots. Augustine delivers. Some examples: CEO Rank in Wages vs. Company Rank in Reports (no correlation); Percent of Total Output vs. Percent of Total Contributors (nearly perfectly linear on a log-log scale); GNP, Defense Budget, and Aircraft Unit Cost vs. Time (all nearly linear on a semi-log-y scale, with the Aircraft Unit Cost predicted to intersect the Defense Budget by the year 2050); Actual "Time-to-Go" versus Predicted "Time-to-Go" (nearly perfectly linear, with a best-fit line having a slope of something very close to the quantity of 1+1/pi = 1.3); and on and on and on.

Some of my favorites quotes, reduced in quantity to prevent being a total spoiler:

"...
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 6, 1998
Accurate, Funny, and informative. This book captures the real (and not so real) world of government and other large projects spot on. Having been on both sides (NASA and contractor), there be truth in this wit. Enjoy. To be appreciated, best read while sitting on a $600 toilet seat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Giaco on July 3, 2012
This book was recommended to me in my aero undergrad. I bought it and slowly worked through it over the last two years. Each page contains more facts, wit, and truths of a very broken process than hundreds of other books combined. It is hard not to laugh out loud and simultaneously bang your head on the wall when reading this amazing book of truths.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Turnock on April 18, 2011
I have bought this book by the case to give to colleagues in both aerospace and other industries. I highly recommend it for its insights and perspectives although time has passed and it would be great if someone could bring it up to date.
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Verified Purchase
I read one of the early editions years ago and laughed and laughed. I bought this one and did not realize that it was a major rewrite of the classic. It's OK, but not laugh-out-loud.
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