"The history of concrete construction is an unlikely subject for a popular book, but Robert Courland’s Concrete Planet engages the reader like a who done it novel. Courland easily and seamlessly covers the science, technology, craft, and architectural expression in the invention and use of concrete with precision and lively prose, describing both the best and the worst examples of its use over the ages and in the present. He successfully manages to bring more than two thousand years of human history alive using concrete as the thread, while delving deep enough to reveal the intimate details of the business and family lives of its famous, and sometimes infamous, inventors, designers, and builders across the Western world."
Randolph Langenbach, former senior analyst in response and recovery at FEMA, author of Don’t Tear It Down!
"A delightful excursion through time and across continents!"
Dr. Robert Nason, author and former USGS seismologist
"Concrete Planet is an unimaginably poetic and nuanced look at the most common substance on earth, a lumpen and lifeless mass that has been molded into a thing of sculpted beauty, turned our horizontal society into a vertical one, and will serve as our visual legacy long after we are gone. This is a fascinating work by a great historian. I could not put it down."
James Dalessandro, author of 1906: A Novel
About the Author
is the author of The Old North Waterfront
, which won a special-achievement award from the California Heritage Council, and, with Walt Crowley, The Fairmont Hotel: The First Century of a San Francisco Landmark.
He has also written magazine articles, television commercials, and screenplays.