Civilized Engineer

Overview

Civil engineer Samuel Forman's The Civilized Engineer is aimed at both those observing and commenting externally on engineering, and the practicing engineer—to reveal something of the art behind great engineering achievements, and to stimulate debate upon the author's hypothesis that "in its moment of ascendance, engineering is faced with the trivialization of its purpose and the debasement of its practice."

Florman explores topics as diverse as the shuttle diaster,...

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The Civilized Engineer

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Overview

Civil engineer Samuel Forman's The Civilized Engineer is aimed at both those observing and commenting externally on engineering, and the practicing engineer—to reveal something of the art behind great engineering achievements, and to stimulate debate upon the author's hypothesis that "in its moment of ascendance, engineering is faced with the trivialization of its purpose and the debasement of its practice."

Florman explores topics as diverse as the shuttle diaster, engineering ethics, and the promise and limits of technology. Thought-provoking, challenging and now in paperback.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Essential reading . . . [Florman's] lucid prose is readily accessible to anyone who wants to know more about the profession most influential in shaping the 20th Century."—Philadelphia Inquirer

"With The Civilized Engineer, Florman has written his most substantial book to date . . . Enjoyable to read . . . The book is a useful aid for focusing one's own (often unexamined) views on what it now means and what it should mean to be an engineer."—Technology and Society

"Florman is the man we've been looking for. Incredible as the combination may appear, he is both a practicing engineer and a truly gifted writer."—Fortune

"The Civilized Engineer is remarkable simply because there is no other engineer author who talks to engineers the way Florman does. Any intelligent engineer who doesn't want to think like a frog in an enclosed pond would do well to read this book."—Engineering Times

"Mr. Florman is a respected professional engineer and a man of wide cultivation. He writes with beautiful clarity and his wit springs from his material; it is not applique. The reader is never in doubt about what Mr. Florman is saying. in an age of murky prose. this quality alone would win him an enthusiastic readership."—The New York Times Book Review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Civil engineer Florman ( The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, Blaming Technology here indulges in sufficient autobiography to reveal how, instinctively, he reached out for a well-rounded education in the arts and humanities, which he now sees as crucial to human survival. This lends a charming informality to his book's undisguised mission: to drive home to the young the necessity of avoiding too-narrow specialization, noting that technology seems to have become the obsession of the success-minded. He presents his case for the cultural development of today's youth, using examples as current as the Challenger tragedy to suggest that technological minds tend to downgrade human risks and responsibilities. ``If I were king,'' writes Florman, he would require major courses in history and literature at all engineering schools. (March 23)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312025595
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/1/1988
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Samuel C. Florman, a civil engineer, is a principal in a major New York area construction company. In addition to The Civilized Engineer, he has written Blaming Technology, The Existential Pleasures of Engineering, and Engineering and the Liberal Arts. He lives in New York City.

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