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About the Author

Henry Petroski is the author of nineteen previous nonfiction trade books, including The Pencil and The Evolution of Useful Things, which consider the invention, design, and cultural significance of common objects. He is a distinguished professor emeritus at Duke University.


"[Petroski] reveals how integral the work of engineers is to our society. The stories assembled are entertaining and often illuminating."-William Gurstelle, Wall Street Journal

"Petroski is a vivid writer who enlivens potentially tedious descriptions of the forces at play in routine activities with sensory detail. . . . I admire Force for its attempt to immerse readers in the forces shaping our lives."-Matthew Diasio, Science

"Henry Petroski's poetic prose pairs psychology with physics, producing a joyful joining of fact, fun, and physics. His exploration of the many meanings of force informs while it delights."-Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things

"Force! From John Keats to Isaac Newton, from pizza boxes to the Forth Bridge, this is a veritable cornucopia that will intrigue and inform the curious reader about a concept often taken for granted."-Paul Jowitt, professor of civil engineering systems, Heriot-Watt University

"Henry Petroski clearly and accessibly explains the most important idea in classical physics and engineering: the concept of force. His vivid prose illustrates the many ways in which forces enter and influence our everyday lives."-Howard A. Stone, Princeton University

"Henry Petroski is a true polymath with a superbly holistic perspective. Force is a unified field theory of almost everything, exploring the interdependencies among everyday forces and their effects. Albert Einstein would have loved it."-Peter G. Neumann, chief scientist, SRI International Computer Science Laboratory

"Force is yet another masterful and even more expansive demonstration of Henry Petroski's uncommon capacity for demystifying science and engineering and engaging the public broadly. It is a tour de force!"-Ron Latanision, Shell Professor of Materials Science and Engineering (emeritus), Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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