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It Looked Good on Paper
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It Looked Good on Paper

2.93 of 5 stars 2.93  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  9 reviews
A remarkable compendium of wild schemes, mad plans, crazy inventions, and truly glorious disasters

Every phenomenally bad idea seemed like a good idea to someone. How else can you explain the Ford Edsel or the sword pistol—absolutely absurd creations that should have never made it off the drawing board? It Looked Good on Paper gathers together the most flawed plans, half-ba...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published October 6th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published January 9th 2009)
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Some of the stories didn't strike me as especially funny, either because they were already well enough known to be old hat or because they weren't really that bad. Also, I spotted a couple of factual errors, a significant problem for a book like this. Still, this is entertaining light reading for the most part.
Picked this up at the MIT Press outlet bookstore because it looked interesting. Unfortunately, the book is painfully shallow. The book is a long series of vignettes, without any real analysis. It sneers, when it should explain.

A lot of their examples are military, but the authors don't know as much as they think they do. Among the vignettes are HMS Hood, and the Brewster Buffalo fighter plane. Both performed badly in World War II, but this wasn't because they were particularly bad designs, or pa...more
short quirky nonfiction anecdotes. Just what I like
Steve Mount
I like books like this - a quick read; small, almost anecdotal episodes; fascinating looks into history. This book sorely could have used illustrations, though in this Internet age, I was able to look up each item it discussed quickly. This editor has several other similar books, and I might check them out. The editor himself wrote several chapters, though they were always the shortest ones. I think the editor could have spent a little more time on his own entries.
This book is a humorous non-fiction book. In it is many great plans of architecture, transportation, weaponary, aviation, marine vessels, medicine that has failed in the real world, like the Great Wall of China (designed to stop the Mongols), the Messerchimits-262, the German Kamikaze, The Concorde, Amphicar, Hubble Space Telescope, Russian Mars Program, Nuclear Cannon, gas Bomb, the Langley Aerodrome, and the tower of Pisa.
Kristi Thielen
A mildly interesting compilation of inventions that went wrong. Much too much focus on blunders in the military - although that certainly says something about the military - and not enough attention to other failures. The books includes bad cars (the Pinto) but says nothing about the most spectacular automotive blunder: the Edsel.
Slapped together bits that read like Wikipedia cliff notes cheaply presented on newsprint quality paper. If it took longer than 4 weeks to conceive, compile and publish this book I'd be surprised. Sub-par bathroom reading...I gave it 1 star because you can't give out zeros.
A really forguetable book, full of not very interesting stories written in a very superficial manner. Make sure that you like the war stories before read this book.
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Bill Fawcett has been a professor, teacher, corporate executive, and college dean. His entire life has been spent in the creative fields and managing other creative individuals. He is one of the founders of Mayfair Games, a board and role-play gaming company. As an author, Fawcett has written or coauthored over a dozen books and dozens of articles and short stories. As a book packager, a person wh...more
More about Bill Fawcett...
Old Guard: Bolos Anthology 5 (Bolos, #5) How to Lose a Battle: Foolish Plans and Great Military Blunders Cats in Space and Other Places 100 Mistakes that Changed History: Backfires and Blunders That Collapsed Empires, Crashed Economies, and Altered the Course of Our World You Did What?: Mad Plans and Great Historical Disasters

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