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Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down

Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down

Structures: Or Why Things Don't Fall Down
By J. E. Gordon

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Average customer review: logo
(92 customer reviews)

Book Description

For anyone who has ever wondered why suspension bridges don't collapse under eight lanes of traffic, how dams hold back-or give way under-thousands of gallons of water, or what principles guide the design of a skyscraper or a kangaroo, this book will ease your anxiety and answer your questions. J. E. Gordon strips engineering of its confusing technical terms, communicating its founding principles in accessible, witty prose.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #57036 in eBooks
  • Published on: 2009-04-28
  • Released on: 2009-04-28
  • Format: Kindle eBook

Editorial Reviews

"It is really, really good if you want a primer on structural design."―Elon Musk

"Rich and readable...personal, witty, and ironic."―Scientific American

"Here we have the conversation in unbuttoned mood of a learned engineer with wide sympathies about his art, its history, its range, and the silly things which happen. It reads easily and has immense charm."―Architect's Journal

About the Author
J. E. Gordon, a professor at the University of Reading, is renowned for his research in plastics, crystals, and new materials.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5The book is written sort of like a narrative
By Melissa Johnson
What this book does very well is demonstrate the scientific process from a practical and engineering perspective. The book is written sort of like a narrative, and the historical descriptions take on a nearly first-person feel to it. It's almost like 'you' can experience the evolution of thought and understanding of structural mechanics.

It's as close to a representation of how science is actually done as I've seen. Very unique.

FYI though, the guy tends to get a bit verbose and it sometimes feels like words were added to make his stream of consciousness writing make sense to others, but not enough words were taken away later.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5Five Stars
By Clarence Darrow
I thought this would be a bit dry, but it's geared toward the layperson, and it's informative and entertaining.

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful.
5Not reading this book is a sin for every educated man.
By Amazon Customer
J.E.Gordon has taken a remarkable lifetime worth of experiences, the history of aviation, industrialization, railways, shipbuilding and classical culture and put them all into a single, entertaining and tantalizing package. After reading this volume you will have a better understanding of structures, history and society. It is thus no surprise that after four decades it is still a compulsory reading in all major engineering courses.
Yet he goes beyond the science and history: he gives a human dimension to the machines and structures that uphold our society. Through this lens the way we look at society and its interaction with its inventions is exposed in all its beauty and ugliness.

See all 92 customer reviews...
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