Building the World

About the Book

An Encyclopedia of the Great Engineering Projects in History
by Frank P. Davidson and Kathleen Lusk Brooke
Greenwood Press: ISBN:0-313-33354-8



Humans are builders – we make structures to span rivers, to craft canals, to establish cities.Throughout history, civilizations have created structures of such immense scale, requiring such tremendous resources, that they might have been thought impossible. From the Taj Mahal to the Suez Canal, from Solomon’s Temple to the Channel Tunnel, these feats of macro-engineering are a testament to the creativity and foresight of architects, engineers, governmental leaders, lawyers, bankers and diplomats. Building the World presents the following great projects along with the original texts (edicts, contracts, laws and other documents) which authorized and launched them:

Solomon’s Temple, Israel • The Founding of Cyrene, Libya
The Aqueducts of Rome, Italy • The Grand Canal, China
Protective Dikes, The Netherlands • The Founding of Baghdad, Iraq
Charlemagne’s Works, Europe • London Bridge, England
The New River, England • The Taj Mahal, India
Canal des Deux Mers, France • The Founding of St. Petersburg, Russia
Washington, D.C, United States • The Erie Canal, United States
The City of Singapore, Singapore • The Suez Canal, Egypt
Transcontinental Railroad, United States • The Brooklyn Bridge, United States • Canadian Pacific Railway, Canada • The Eiffel Tower, France • Trans-Siberian Railway, Russia • The Panama Canal, Panama  Federal Highway System, United States
The Hoover Dam, United States • Tennessee Valley Authority, United States
Manhattan Project, United States • Alaska Highway, United States and Canada • Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric, Australia • Mont Blanc Tunnel, Italy, France, and Switzerland • The Founding of Brasília, Brazil
NASA and the Apollo Program, United States • High Dam at Aswan, Egypt
COMSAT, United States • National Trails System, United States
Shinkansen, Japan • Trans-Alaska Pipeline, United States and Canada
Itaipú, Brazil and Paraguay • The Founding of Abuja, Nigeria
Channel Tunnel, France and England • SEMATECH, United States
Central Artery Project, United States

Building the World is building a world – one which, hopefully, will not only be a bridge to a brighter spiritual and material future, but one which will also be deeply rooted in the best examples of past human inspiration. Present within these two volumes are such examples, in the form of engineering projects, which express unsurpassed aspects of all areas of human endeavors and conditions – aesthetic and ethical orientations, political and economic pursuits, ingenuities; imaginings; visioning; long-ings, as well as states of being and becoming.
Dr. Winston E. Langley, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston

“Provides us with a base for thinking about macro projects that can bring people and nations together.
Dr. Hasan-Uddin Khan, Distinguished Professor of Architecture and Historic Preservation, Roger Williams University; former Head of Architectural Activities and Overseer of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture and the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT and Harvard

“A tribute to the role of large-scale infrastructure in the evolution of the world’s societies.
Dr. David H. Marks, Morton and Claire Goulder Family Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems and Director, Laboratory for Energy and the Environment, MIT

“This splendid work of scholarship will advance understanding and appreciation of macroengineering.
Dr. Jeffrey K. Stine, Chair, Division of Medicine & Science, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

*adapted from Cherie E. Potts, 2007

About the Authors:

Frank P. Davidson was the American cofounder, in 1957, of the Channel Tunnel Study Group. In 1970, he was appointed head of the Macro-Engineering Research Group of the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Kathleen Lusk Brooke taught Success at Harvard and Failure at MIT before founding the Center for the Study of Success.

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Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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