To Engineer Is Human: The Role of Failure in Successful Design

4.4 out of 5 stars 176 ratings
ISBN-13: 978-0679734161
ISBN-10: 0679734163
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

The moral of this book is that behind every great engineering success is a trail of often ignored (but frequently spectacular) engineering failures. Petroski covers many of the best known examples of well-intentioned but ultimately failed design in action -- the galloping Tacoma Narrows Bridge (which you've probably seen tossing cars willy-nilly in the famous black-and-white footage), the collapse of the Kansas City Hyatt Regency Hotel walkways -- and many lesser known but equally informative examples. The line of reasoning Petroski develops in this book were later formalized into his quasi-Darwinian model of technological evolution in The Evolution of Useful Things, but this book is arguably the more illuminating -- and defintely the more enjoyable -- of these two titles. Highly recommended.

Review

"Reading Petroski's fine book is not only a delight, it is a necessity." --Houston Chronicle

"Serious, amusing, probing, sometimes frightening, and always literate." --Los Angeles Times 

Product details

  • Paperback : 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 0679734163
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0679734161
  • Product Dimensions : 5.19 x 0.58 x 8 inches
  • Item Weight : 9 ounces
  • Publisher : Vintage (March 31, 1992)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 176 ratings