Remaking the World

Remaking the World

Adventures in Engineering

Book - 1997
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This collection of informative and pleasurable essays by Henry Petroski elucidates the role of engineers in shaping our environment in countless ways, big and small. In Remaking the World Petroski gravitates this time, perhaps, toward the big: the English Channel tunnel, the Panama Canal, Hoover Dam, the QE2, and the Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia, now the tallest buildings in the world. He profiles Charles Steinmetz, the genius of the General Electric Company; Henry Martyn Robert, a military engineer who created Robert's Rules of Order; and James Nasmyth, the Scotsman whose machine tools helped shape nineteenth-century ocean and rail transportation. Petroski sifts through the fossils of technology for cautionary tales and remarkable twists of fortune, and reminds us that failure is often a necessary step on the path to new discoveries. He explains soil mechanics by way of a game of  "rock, scissors, paper," and clarifies fundamental principles of engineering through the spokes of a Ferris wheel. Most of all, Henry Petroski continues to celebrate the men and women whose scrawls on the backs of envelopes have immeasurably improved our world.
Publisher: New York :, Alfred A. Knopf,, 1997.
ISBN: 9780375400414
Branch Call Number: 620 Pe
Characteristics: xiii, 239 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm


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Jul 20, 2019

Informatively written by engineering instructor, Henry Petroski - "Remaking the World" takes an analytical look at several of the most noteworthy architectural achievements (from around the world) that have been completed over the past 100 years.

And though this meticulous scrutiny - Petroski strongly argues that the erection of these complex structures has clearly played a significant role in shaping our environment as it exists in this present-day society.

May 22, 2019

In "Remaking the World" American engineering professor, Henry Petroski discusses (in fair detail) the role of engineers (over the past century) in regards to shaping our environment.

In this book of non-fiction - Petroski not only focuses in on such feats of engineering marvel as the English Channel tunnel, the Hoover Dam, and the Petronas Towers in Malaysia - But, he also profiles such noted men in the field of architectural/structural engineering as Charles Steinmetz and James Nasmyth.

IMO - Even though this book was certainly well-written - It definitely could've benefited by including more illustrations in order to help reinforce its narrative.

Dec 08, 2012

Remaking the World --- by Henry Petrowski --- Petroski holds a degree in civil engineering; he is a practicing engineer; he is a prolific writer who has written over fourteen books as well as a PBS documentary presenter.(for mor about who and what he is, check out . He is immersed in engineering. And yet, when he writes, as he does in this book, he does not write for the engineering community but for the wider community at large for whom engineering may be somewhat enigmatic. In this book, small though it may be, he examines topics on the subject of engineering: what is the image of the engineer; what does it take to get from the back of the envelope to the completed project; and engineering in the historical concept. He also speaks to some of the large accomplishments of engineering: the Panama Canal; the Ferris Wheel; and the Petronas Towers. Needless to say, Mr. Petrowski interest has a strong historical bent: most of the “great feats” of history in which he is interested and about which he writes are those already finished. Who knows what the future will hold? “Remaking the World” is an interesting book to read; it isn’t full of engineering/mathematical jargon: it is accessible to the lay person. You could do much worse than to spend a couple of hours with this book.


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