4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Excellent, but it's not Sea Hunt or Flipper.,
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This review is from: The Bends: Compressed Air in the History of Science, Diving, and Engineering (Hardcover)Surprisingly, this is not a book about SCUBA diving or diving accidents, and not what I expected when I bought it. It turned out to be a kind of detective story, where the mystery spans hundreds of years, beginning in later medieval Europe and ends in the present.
The author thoughtfully and carefully traces the the first recognition of the dangers to human life of working in a high-pressure atmosphere. This danger turns out to be mostly at the bottom of rivers. The early book is surprisingly about bridge building, not pearl diving or underwater naval warfare. The history of the bends and the Brooklyn Bridge is especially compelling.
The bends are not what TV and the movies portray. The disease is crippling and horrible. The Brooklyn Bridge's designer John Roebling and his son Washington, who supervised the construction of the bridge, paid a terrible price for their brain child. I had no concept of the debt we owe the many anonymous laborers and engineers that went below the nation's rivers to lay foundations for the more glamorous stonework and steelwork above.
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