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

Book review by Deane Barker tags: engineering, construction

This is an interesting book. It’s a collection of essays, really, about engineering, and specifically about engineering failures.

I call it a “collection” because there’s no narrative thread to any of it. All the chapters (“essays”) seemed to be relatively disconnected, and I couldn’t really figure out the theme of each one. It’s kind of like a set of random blog posts around a common subject.

But I still liked it. I liked the idea of someone taking a philosophic, episode, critical examination of their craft. It was never boring, but at the same time, it’s not an in-depth examination of any particular engineering failure.

I don’t know what to make of it. I enjoyed reading it, but I don’t think I can really tell you why? There was a… zen (?) to it.

Book Info

Henry Petroski
  • I have read this book. According to my records, I completed it on .
  • A softcover copy of this book is currently in my home library.

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