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Infrastructure: The Book of Everything for the Industrial Landscape Paperback – September 17, 2006

20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“When seen through the discriminating lens of author and photographer Brian Hayes, man-made objects appear as exquisite and natural as organic ones. Radar domes echo the beauty of a fly’s eyes, a crop-irrigation rig takes on the twiggy grace of a praying mantis, and the miles of telephone towers and wires along US highways fuse into the western horizon.” (Elizabeth Svobada - Wired)

“Ample text explains the unfamiliar workings of blast furnaces, oil refineries, granite quarries and wind farms. Hundreds of photos provide helpful illustrations. . . . Artistry can be found in the strangest places.” (John J Miller - Wall Street Journal)

“Will help any technotourist to identify structures commonly encountered (if often overlooked) in outdoor urban habitats and industrial landscapes.” (Science)

“Brilliant . . . offering history and context . . . Infrastructure delivers on its promise to be the ‘book of everything’ for our human-made American landscape.” (Jim Rossi - Grist)

About the Author

Brian Hayes is a senior writer for American Scientist and a recipient of a National Magazine Award. He lives in the Boston area.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (September 17, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393329593
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393329599
  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 1.2 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 5, 2007
Great book but the paperback edition is unwieldy. The book is very wide and printed on high quality, glossy paper which is very heavy. It's almost impossible to read the paperback edition when holding it in your hands because it won't lie flat.

I'm returning it and ordering the hard cover edition.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Nathaniel Singer on July 8, 2007
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Going into this book, I would have never expected that it would become one of my five or so favorite books of all time. Taking what could be the most mundane, everyday objects and sites and providing an incredibly rich explanation of their purpose, their reason for being, sounds like an incredibly difficult task. Making it interesting enough to actually turn into a page-turner sounds impossible.

It is clear that the author has poured his heart into this book, and one emerges post-reading it as excited and almost as passionate as the author himself. The prose is remarkably well written, chapters commencing of the form "The social life of dairy cows is endlessly fascinating.." -- and it remarkably is, as he goes on to explain!

There are very few books that are such a labor of love. If I were trying to get a child interested in the world around them, I would buy this book for them immediately. It provides the richness to really begin to appreciate the world in its full complexity, with a framework that really makes a lot of sense. As an investor & member of the business community, I instead respect this book based on the fascinating topological overview that the book gives of the lesser-seen aspects of the industrial economy and its key value chains.

Fascinating. Fantastic. One of my favorites ever - a surely unrecognized marvel of a book. I wish the author well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Michael A. Duvernois VINE VOICE on November 19, 2007
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A proviso that must be made is that this is a very-USA-centric book. No disrespect intended as it is a beautifully photographed and relatively detailed (plus references for a lot more information) tome. Just something to keep in mind as the world is not (yet?) flat in infrastructure.

I like to think of myself as pretty knowledgeable, but I learned quite a bit in each chapter. I can imagine a similar book for Infrastructure 1925 (or so). Would be fun to see what has been lost (trains/streetcars/twice-daily-mail delivery) and gained (more obvious).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nipsey Russell on August 6, 2012
There are enough positive reviews here i probably dont need to expand on how great this is and how many topics this covers. I have 2 caveats that almost dropped my review to 4 stars, so this is really a 4.5 star review. First, the paperback book can barely structurally support the weight of the paper within it - many times the book has slipped and i feared that the whole thing would rip apart, but so far no disaster. Secondly, this book would MAJORLY benefit from diagrams. All illustrations are photos, which are great for identification, but we are talking complicated mechanisms here and just about every sections could use a diagram to help understand how these things work. In any event a great book to pick up every once in a while and lose yourself in a new topic.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Jason Makansi on October 29, 2007
As a career electricity infrastructure professional, I was surprised and delighted when a friend brought the hard-bound edition of "Infrastructure: A Field Guide to Industrial Landscape" over to my house, surprised because this book had escaped my radar, delighted because this is a difficult subject to treat well. Hoyes not only brings considerable gravity and accuracy to the subject, but the photography forces even the disinterested observer to be captivated by roads, bridges, transmission lines, pipelines, airports, and all the other "stuff" that makes modern life what it is. Then my wife bought the paper-bound edition as a gift. Why? Because she's heard me say forever that infrastructure should be part of our national conversation and thought we could do our part by having this on our "coffee table," where it now sits. What this books does with seeming ease and grace: It takes the "smokestack" out of industry and makes infrastructure suitable for your living room. Yet Hoyes doesn't shirk from discussing the controversial aspects of our need for all the things infrastructure brings to us.

Read it, skim it, reference it, or just look at the pictures. Whatever level you enjoy this book on, it will make you pay attention to what hums in the background to move life forward or backward, depending on your point of view.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By T.A.L. Dozer VINE VOICE on June 30, 2012
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Reference for Saboteurs & Demolition Men

I am sure when Brain Hayes wrote his book "Infrastructure: A Field Guide to the Industrial Landscape" he did not intend for it to be used as a resource for military demolition experts. This book is absolutely brilliant and has provided a valuable training resource in understanding urban physical infrastructure for targeting. Sabotage training for military and saboteurs consisted of teaching would-be demolition men the key components to the working of machinery and/or structures on which to focus their destruction. Saboteurs learn the extensive art and science of explosives and demolitions to cause permanent and semi-permanent destruction by specifically targeting certain "sweet spots" with explosives, properly placed, could bring down a bridge, cave in a mine shaft, or collapse the roof of a railroad tunnel. Some of the examples of possible targets of sabotage covered in this book include:

* fuel depots and manufacturing facilities
* Supply depots/ warehouses
* Repair facilities
* Oil pipelines
Aquatic Targets of Sabotage:
* Water routes (canals, river, etc.)
* Harbors, piers, and docks (both from water and land routes)
Land Routes, Vehicles, and Weapons as Targets of Sabotage:
* Railways (track, switching units, etc.
Read more ›
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