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Man and Machine: The Best Of Stephan Wilkinson Paperback – December 1, 2005

8 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Wilkinson is that rare guy who actually understands what makes machines tick and why machines make our hearts beat faster--and he can write beautifully about the connection."--Scott Mowbray, editor in chief of Popular Science
“…breezy could well describe a journey through this delightful collection of 28 essays and observations.”-Forbes
"Wilkinson has an uncanny knack for describing cold machinery in warm, simple, anecdotal terms. Man and Machine should have been called Wilkinson and Machine. Highly recommended."--Car and Driver magazine

From the Back Cover

Stephan Wilkinson - a longtime expert on the ways men entertain themselves when no one is telling them what to do - takes readers into the high-speed, high-risk world of restored jets, fast boats, and Formula 1 cars. Wilkinson visits a factory where Amish men build custom ambulances, flies an airliner from the glory days of air travel, meets a bird that is a killing machine, and has a hot date with a handgun.
In another chapter, Wilkinson relates the hazards of flying purely on instruments, and why being able to do so can make the difference between life and death. He draws from his own misadventures in flight and explains exactly why the high-end Beech Bonanza is known as "the doctor killer." And dissecting the finely tuned instrument that is the Formula 1 car, Wilkinson relates how the engine's connecting rods actually stretch at 19,000 rpm, even though they're made of titanium, and what can happen when a racecar brakes at 6Gs.
Always entertaining, Wilkinson takes men, and maybe even a few women, where they love to go - under the hood, over the mechanic's shoulder, and behind the wheel.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press (December 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159228812X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592288120
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By JSR on December 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had borrowed this book from my local library. I liked it so much, I had to own a copy. I put Stephan Wilkinson right up with John McPhee as one of my favorite writers. If you like aircraft, boats, or cars, this book is a great read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dave English VINE VOICE on August 22, 2008
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This is a wonderful book. It's a collection of self-contained magazine articles originally published in 'Pilot,' 'Air & Space Smithsonian' and 'Popular Science' magazines that come together to form a greater whole. We get to look at machines that fly, and other machines from go-carts to ambulances to cruise ships. And we get to look at them through the gentle eyes of a smart literate man who doesn't miss much, a man who was the editor of Car and Driver, a man who smoothly writes about the things we wish we would have seen. We learn something about the machines; and celebrate the men that dreamt them up, made them possible and keep them running.

If this book was a machine it would hum in quiet harmony, it would have no sharp edges, and it would do something better than that something had ever been done before. I think you'll enjoy being up close to see and feel the power of such a 'Man and Machine.'
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Lennon on May 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was a great book. Many technical stories and analysis of how things tick and the people who keep them ticking. This may be especially geared toward aircraft nuts, but it was still good for anyone interested in powered things. It even included a story on Steinway Pianos - very interesting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on May 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got this for my husband. He kept saying, "I think you would like this book..."

So I read it, too.

This is a book about power and speed and LOTS of cash and being a guy -- and that's okay with me. Do I understand why a bunch of broke teenagers want to spend every penny on decibel drag racing? Nope. But I can be glad for them that they have found a creative new way to be competitive and tinker around with stuff. That's what it's all about.

Thanks, Stephan Wilkinson. Each one of these articles was interesting. We're a military family, and some of these military vehicles... well, I already had a huge appreciation for the guys who piloted them, and now that I understand the vehicles better, the prestige of these guys grows even more for me.
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