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Buckminster Fuller's Universe: His Life and Work Paperback – August 11, 2000
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"Everybody concerned about the planet should read this book. It fully illustrates that a great man walked among us." -- Larry King, talk show host & author
"Sieden probes beyond Fuller's famous inventions to offer a unique psychological perspective on the roots of his successes and failures." -- Amory B. Lovins, Director of Research, Rocky Mountain Institute
"Sieden's biography is a tribute to a great man." -- Marilyn Ferguson, author The Aquarian Conspiracy
"This is a very necessary and useful book. It is not written in Fuller's language. You will understand it." -- John Cage
...lays out the saga of one of the great minds of the 20th century... his complicated ideas come into focus. -- Timothy Willard, Former Editor, The Futurist
Fuller is brought down to earth in this absorbing biographical study. -- Publisher's Weekly
Sieden has done a magnificent job of simplifying and restating Fullers comprehensive view. -- Rev. Peggy Bassett, D.D., Former President United Church of Religious Science Worldwide
Sieden has succeeded in bringing Fuller back as vibrant and thought provoking as ever, in a way we can understand. -- Allan Ray Putnam, Former Director, American Society for Metals
From the Inside Flap
As one of the first to perceive that humanitys very survival was dependent on global cooperation and making the necessities of life available to all, he devoted most of his life to that cause. He created modern technologies and revolutionary designs that would support humanity in working as one global community on what he referred to as Spaceship Earth. Fullers was a bold, global perspective - one based on a new way of merging Nature and technology. With great enthusiasm, he extrapolated from the intricate structure of Nature to design imaginative, ultramodern inventions for the common good, among which the Geodesic Dome, the Dymaxion Car, the Dymaxion House, and the Dymaxion Map figure most prominently.
Lloyd Steven Sieden, a respected educator and consultant on Buckminster Fuller, remains true to the vitality and imagination of Fullers ideas and wisdom. His book follows Fullers life in order to translate his complex ideas into clear, accessible language. Sieden brings new light to Fullers fascinating belief system and the rationale behind his futuristic designs; he also shows how these unprecedented designs model the framework of Fullers elaborate philosophy.
This eloquent and inspiring work fulfills the need for a book that ultimately recognizes and articulates Fullers monumental contributions to humanity. It conveys an appreciative portrayal of the man affectionately dubbed the grandfather of the Universe. It also vividly illustrates Fullers enormous impact upon and contribution to society as well as the ways in which his visionary ideas will continue to shape and expand our perception of Spaceship Earth for years to come.
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However, on the negative side, there is a bit too much pro-Bucky "cheerleading" in this book for my taste. Although, I have zero desire to hear any "dirty laundry" or negative personal anecdotes about Bucky, I really would have liked to have learned just a bit about what Bucky's intellectual critics thought as well. There are always other resources for that though. This book is unabashedly about Bucky "worship", and considering that Bucky was probably indeed a genius, perhaps it's excusable.
Another complaint I have about this book is that it doesn't give as complete a picture of Bucky's life as it pertains to his intellectual development, as I'd like. For instance it almost seems from this book that Bucky quits his job in his early 30's and becomes a genius based on a bit of naval experience and personal studying and little more. I can't help think that there is much much more to the intellectual development of Buckminster Fuller than we are shown in this book.
Still this is a good introduction to Buckminster Fuller. It doesn't delve deeply into Bucky's views on math, but I suspect that is because even the author of this book doesn't understand them! There are still a few parts of Bucky's philosophy as explained in this book, that I don't understand at all, but I suspect they may be very difficult concepts to explain and grasp, and that I'd probably have to pick up a much more difficult book than this one to understand them, assuming they are indeed understandable.
Bucky Fuller's life is a lesson in and of itself. Physically challenged, he made it to Harvard University only to be ejected. So, a frail dropout from college who had problems with higher math somehow ended up creating engineering concepts that made an impact on the world and will do so far into the future. Dymaxion became a noun and adjective. What he should be remembered for is intelligence in design and engineering. In other words, he felt that proper design could conquer anything, whether it was creating a durable, mass producible home for mankind, an economical aerodynamic car, a geodesic dome to economically create a large meeting area, or something really grand. It's attributed to him that he once stated that, if he was alotted the proper resources, he could comfortably house the whole of humanity on the Japanese islands, leaving the rest of the world for agriculture, recreational parks, and untouched habitat. Of course, it should never be on tectonically challenged Japan, but you get the general theory.
This book gives us just a glimpse into most, but not all, of Bucky's great ideas, and as such is a must-have for someone wanting to get a first look at the somewhat forgotten genius futurist and conceptualist...