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Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization Paperback – May 15, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
-- Minneapolis Star Tribune
-- Los Angeles Times
"Hodding Carter has enough charm to fill a toilet tank, and I don't mean the new 1.6 gallon low-flush. No one else could make me laugh heartily while reading about the miraculous lead pipes of ancient Bath.... Got to love it all."
-- Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Spook
"Carter is unfailingly good company throughout this genuinely underground history."
-- Will Blythe, author of To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever
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Top Customer Reviews
the wonder of the flush
Now here comes Hodding with his book
To get you off your tush
The Romans they used aqueducts
The French called "Garde L'eau"
London stank before they learned
to use the water flow
Where now exists a porcelain bowl
With custom seat and lever
Once plagued the mighty London town
with cholera and fever
All the people in the world
Make tons of poop each day
We never bother where it goes
Once we flush it away
We need to find efficient ways
To utilize our waste
A topic that we all ignore
And treat with much distaste
So all hail the humble plumber-guy
No joking `bout the crack
Without his help the stuff you flush
may soon be coming back
A simple, concise, funny book
the writing's off the wall
The perfect gift for homeowners
for reading in the stall
Amanda Richards, July 7, 2006
Another kind of tour lets us visit the technologies of waste removal. Up until the 1800s, that largely consisted of an open window, a shouted warning to anyone passing below, and a mighty heave of the "thunder mug," which left the streets in a condition that beggars modern imagination. From there, Carter works up to the high-tech digesters that biologically decontaminate Boston's sewage stream, and to practical demonstrations of recovering energy from methane given off, or even bacterial fuels cells that generate electricity directly.
It's also a story of social progress. People live longer and fewer children die of disease spread by fecal contamination, to be sure. Carter also describes low-tech innovations in India that promise to improve the lives of the untouchable undercaste, once they are freed from the necessary but "unclean" duty of clearing away the human waste of India's hundreds of millions.Read more ›
The book is very well written and pulls the reader along with its wit and humor. Although the subject is one few individuals actually take time to consider, it is one of the more important issues facing mankind even today. As the author notes, several million people in third world countries do not enjoy the benefits of clean water and sewage removal. When I took a class on the history of medicine some time ago one of the things pointed out was that despite the acknowledged technological changes in medicine, the two most significant events with respect to human health and longevity were the introduction of antibiotics and public sanitation. In fact, of the two, the latter is probably the more significant.
It was interesting to notice how fitful have been the advances in sanitation, especially since its significance was already recognized in prehistory. If the ancient people of the Indian subcontinent realized the benefit of the technology even before the advent of the written word, its slow progress seems odd. As the author points out, even the "modern" toilet is a 19th century product, which has changed only in minor details.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Frankly, I was very disappointed. I expected in timeline style how plumbing began in ancient times, into early history, through the Middle Ages, into the Renaissance, the earliest... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Ginger33
This is a great book. Being an engineer, handyman, Do-It-Yourself person, and detailed oriented may explain why I liked it so much. Read morePublished 14 months ago by engineer9876543
As the son of a plummer I found this fascinating. Well done and a great light read.Published 22 months ago by Peter Pikul
This book has more than one chuckle. Full of information, and history that will make you think to yourself, you got to be kidding, and oh my gosh! Read morePublished on May 18, 2014 by Val MacLennan
History aspect gave some solid info. Got bored with topic. How author related it to his family and how they should change their habits was gross.Published on March 9, 2014 by Robert Pearce
an oldie but a goodie.. great for the beach house or any place you need a good laugh while appreciating HC's informal stylePublished on July 7, 2013 by Anita C Orsi-Lirot