Reviews

 

ENGINEERING AND THE LIBERAL ARTS (1968)

“Well written, relaxing, interesting. . . Recommended for most libraries.” —New Technical Books (The New York Public Library)

“What a welcome book! . . . A straightforward, unaffected style, and good practical suggestions.” — Technology and Culture

“Will help the engineer to consider his profession in a new light, and to view in a new way its relationship with other areas of culture.” — Journal of Engineering Education

“A scholarly book by a broadly educated engineer.” — Choice American Library Association

“At the risk of seeming extravagant in our praise, we can say that Mr. Florman’s book can be described as the only liberal arts university to be found within one set of covers.” — The Library of Science

“Beginning with a stimulating discussion of how exposure to the arts will enrich and reward every aspect of the engineer’s life, Mr. Florman explores the interrelationship of technology to general culture and provides natural bridges of interest and concern connecting the sciences to the arts.” — Mechanical Engineering

THE EXISTENTIAL PLEASURES OF ENGINEERING (1976)

“An urbane, witty, intellectually far-ranging, large-spirited hymn to homo faber.” — The Wall Street Journal

“Clear, erudite, and occasionally eloquent, a useful read for engineers given to self-scrutiny and a stimulating one for the layman interested in the ancient schism between machines and men’s souls.” — Time

“An engaging short book that is accessible, and frequently enchanting, to the nonspecialist reader.  Mr. Florman, an engineer, has a gift for prose and is, besides, a kindly, clear thinker.” —The New Yorker

“Gracefully written. . .Refreshing and highly infectious enthusiasm. . .Imaginatively engineered.” The New York Times Book Review

“Florman writes with information, sensitivity and grace, as well as a marvelous feeling for history. . . .This brilliant little book becomes a philosophic illumination of pride in craftsmanship.” The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Altogether, this is one of the most perceptive, thoughtful, and engaging books of the season.” The New York Daily News

“Florman demonstrates persuasively that engineering is an expression of mankind’s most elemental impulses and most sublime aspirations.” Mechanical Engineering

“Ought to be included on the required reading lists of engineering schools, for students, faculty and alumni.” Engineering Education

“I can advise only that every engineer should read The Existential Pleasures of Engineering at least once.  In fact, it may not be going too far to use this book’s sales as an indication of the vitality and future of engineering as a profession.” New Engineer

“Well reasoned and highly literate. . .Fascinating reading. . .An ideal gift for the engineering school senior or graduate.” Professional Engineer 

“I would recommend that all engineers read this excellent book, at least to rejuvenate their own spirit.” Civil Engineering

“An eloquent spokesman for our profession has written a book that, in my opinion, should become required reading at all engineering schools and offices. . .The book revives the pride we all felt in becoming engineers. . .I urge all Met Section members to get, read, and re-read this beautifully written book.” Metropolitan Section ASCE Newsletter

“Run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookshop and demand a copy of The Existential Pleasures of Engineering. . .The book is a revelation, a lifesaver, a godsend.” Western Construction

“A welcome addition to any engineer’s library. . .Definitely worth reading.” NSPE News

“Does a superb job of showing the spiritual and sensual joys engineers can find in their work.” Booklist

“One of those marvelous surprises that occasionally brightens a book reviewer’s day. . .Wise and erudite.” —St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Witty, entertaining and thought-provoking.” Architectural Record

“This book is an instant classic.” —Atlanta Journal Constitution

BLAMING TECHNOLOGY (1981)

“It is an immense gratification to engineers to realize that finally someone has put the words together that we have all so long felt needed to be said.” Mechanical Engineering

“Should be an award-winner. . .In a style that is marked by wit and common sense he presents the case for his profession, engineering.” Associated Press

“A timely and relevant book which should be mandatory reading for all engineers, business leaders and concerned citizens.” Personal Computing

“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

“Vivid detail, shrewd assessments and calm arguments.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“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.” The New York  Times Book Review

“Rebutting the idea that anti-technologists are the good guys and scientists and engineers are out to destroy our environment, Florman makes a convincing case for technological progress.  And he does so with grace, wit, and sensitivity.” Library Journal

“A collection of essays notable for their clarity and erudition. . .Florman offers a refreshing perspective and delightfully original thinking.” Los Angeles Times

“Mr. Florman is one of the wisest and most literate persons writing today on important issues of technology and the general culture.” Baltimore Morning Sun

 

THE CIVILIZED ENGINEER (1987)

“Remarkable. . .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

“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.” IEEE Technology & Society Magazine

“It is encouraging to read a book by an engineer who sees things so clearly and who writes so well.” —Los Angeles Times

“Regardless of what kind of engineer or citizen one may be, this and all of Samuel Florman’s books are essential reading. . .His lucid prose is readily accessible to anyone who wants to know more about the profession most influential in shaping the 20th century.” Philadelphia Inquirer

“Thoroughly delightful and provocative. . . A wise and thoughtful book for both humanists and engineers.” Library Journal

“Articulate.” Science News 

“Cogent and provocative.” Booklist

“Samuel C. Florman, a civil engineer, has earned a following for writing sensitively about the profession, and art, of engineering.” The New York Times

“Studious and informed—yet lively.” The Bookwatch

“It’s a great book: meaty content, splendidly written, lots to talk about. . .A joy to read!” Engineering Dimensions (Canada)

“Refreshing and broadening in its entirety. . .Should be on the desired reading list for every engineer; certainly required reading for all engineering students.” AAAS Professional Ethics Report

THE INTROSPECTIVE ENGINEER (1996)

“Samuel Florman’s The Introspective Engineer is thought-provoking, highly readable, and delightful.” —ASEE PRISM

“Here, in a rare combination of intelligence, broad experience, and writing of style and wit, is an examination of the engineering profession today and the nature of engineers themselves. . . . One can only wish others had such vision.” Engineers quarterly

“We would have a better society if engineers were respected more, and if more engineers were as literate and humane as Samuel Florman. Science, Technology & Society

The Introspective Engineer is a challenging read.  Give it a try.” The New Scientist

“The book is eloquent and closely argued.” American Way

“Samuel Florman . . . has provided another elegant and insightful look into engineering.  In case you haven’t read any of Florman’s books yet, I encourage you to do so as he is one of engineering’s most articulate and thoughtful authors.” —Journal of Engineering Education

Listed among New & Noteworthy Paperbacks, 1997 The New York Times Book Review

 

THE AFTERMATH: A NOVEL OF SURVIVAL (2001)

“Florman packs a lot into this short novel, touching philosphical issues in rebuilding civilization as well as the practical considerations. . . The story is compelling and entertaining.” Booklist

“Idea-filled, forward-looking . . . ” Publishers Weekly

“Florman puts his talent as a raconteur to good use. . . . This story of survival and hope at the end of history belongs in large science fiction collections.” Library Journal

“Can a few thousand well-intentioned engineers and scientists help 25,000 hearty South Africans put the world back together after a comet wipes out most of the planet?  You bet! . . . . Resoundingly upbeat.” Kirkus Review

“If the maps we draw are always self-portraits, so are the utopias we create. “The Aftermath” is subtitled “A Novel of Survival,” but it is really about a boatload of engineers who get to rebuild civilization in their own image. . . . Even skeptical readers may enjoy the can-do spirit . . .” The New York Times Book Review

“If you know an engineer, buy this book for a gift.  If you don’t, read it just for the fun of learning how engineers see the world.” Wisconsin State Journal

 

GOOD GUYS, WISEGUYS, AND PUTTING UP BUILINGS: A LIFE IN CONSTRUCTION (2012)

“Samuel C. Florman was a New York City kid . . . He became an engineer and a builder, mixed it up with sharp-elbowed real estate developers, wily subcontractors, politicians honest and otherwise, Mafia-linked concrete mixers, and canny community activists, not to mention clients whose projects ranged from chapels to apartment houses. . . Readers may know Mr. Florman from his books and magazine articles about technology and society.  “Good Guys, Wiseguys” sticks to his career, more than half a century as partner of Kreisler Borg Florman.  Its tone is engagingly informal, twinkling with bemusement over the horrors put in his way by bureaucracy, slick- dealing contractors, unions — or simply capricious nature.” The Wall Street Journal

“. . . a unique insider glimpse into the politics of building the most important city of the 20th century.” — Publishers Weekly

“. . . an engaging memoir about one man’s career in construction — rising to the top of an industry renowned for crime, corruption, violence, physical danger, and the chronic risk of financial catastrophe.” Home & Garden

“After more than five decades as a general contractor in New York City, Samuel Florman, chairman of Kreisler Borg Florman General Construction Company has many stories to tell.  An engineer with a gift for prose, he . . . recounts his career from the 1950s amidst the rise of the notorious Mafia families and evolution of the Civil Rights Movement.” Skyscraper Museum Booktalks

“Mr. Florman, the chairman of the construction firm Kreisler Borg Florman, doesn’t write like an engineer.  He. . . has produced a number of insightful and accessible books, including “The Existential Pleasures of Engineering.”  This latest volume is buoyant . . .    Mr Florman is a charmingly guileless writer. . . . The New York Times

“In every genre in which he has written, which now includes the memoir, Samuel Florman has shared his valuable insights into the nature of engineering and technology within a social and cultural context.” Technology and Culture