Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “American Steel” as Want to Read:
American Steel
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

American Steel

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  135 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Acclaimed writer Richard Preston chronicles the nearly superhuman effort by the Nucor Corporation, America's ninth-largest steel company to build a revolutionary new steel plant from the ashes of the midwestern Rust Belt. Elegantly written and compulsively readable, American Steel has all the elements of a great novel: amazing characters, gripping suspense, towering machin ...more
Paperback, 278 pages
Published April 1st 2000 by Quill (first published 1991)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about American Steel, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about American Steel

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 421)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Tony Noland
Aug 02, 2013 Tony Noland rated it liked it
The book is well written and engaging as it tells the story of how a steel company built a revolutionary new manufacturing plant in the middle of an Indiana cornfield. The narrative style is compelling and immediate, using a novelist's flair to make the people and events come alive. You really do come to care about the company and its David vs. Goliath quest to best the giants of the world steel industry at their own game.

However, it feels a little thin. There are long sections which are spent t
A parable of the 1980s American industrial renaissance that reads like a suspense novel, this is the story of how Nucor built the world's lowest-cost steel mill in an Indiana cornfield. An out-of-print business classic from a John McPhee disciple, hence the writing is superb and the technical explanations are clear & captivating.
Jul 21, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it
Wonderful look at the modern steel industry (as of the 1990s) by a writer not normally known for his industrial writing ... Preston is actually a scientific writer, who normally focuses on diseases and things like that, but turns out to be the perfect observer about the building of a new "mini-mill" in Indiana that threatens to directly compete with the large old-style steel mills in the Rust Belt. Very vivid descriptions, especially about the dangers of a mill, but also very strong personality ...more
Kerry Trombley
Mar 25, 2016 Kerry Trombley rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Loved the beginning. Loved the end. But it dragged in the middle with unimportant details in the middle...about people, places, and processes that jumped around a lot from one to another.

I really enjoyed reading about the analysis of Nucor's culture and how they were able to be lean and compete with big steel and grow into a mature and profitable company. Iverson identified talent, set bold goals, and allowed them to do their job without much management. I would have loved to see in the book mo
Lamech Mariita
Jan 06, 2013 Lamech Mariita rated it really liked it
American Steel is a comeback story of the American Steel Industry. Nucor Corporation has a wild idea about building a plant in tiny Crawfordsville, Indiana, and beat Big Steel and Japan at the same time with non-union labor. They pulled off one of the greatest stories in industrial America. Though the writing style is fairly simple the story itself is fabulous and I wouldn't believe it if I didn't know it was true.
Beverly Hollandbeck
Sep 30, 2014 Beverly Hollandbeck rated it really liked it
This look at the steel industry was even more fascinating to me because I live in Indiana, where the steel mill is. No one could ever have persuaded me that a book about a mill could be interesting. I just read it because I know Preston to be an extraordinary non-fiction writer. Like a fiction writer, he provides a setting, characters, a great story line, and suspense.
Charles Robbins
Sep 17, 2012 Charles Robbins rated it it was amazing
Preston is a master -- as good as any creative nonfiction writer out there. This book, when excerpted in the New Yorker, rightly drew massive buzz. My college roommate still gives copies to his investment banking staffers.
May 22, 2008 Julian rated it liked it
Recommends it for: High School kids
Like any Richard Preston book, this book is strong in all senses and should be read by the older hand of life. However, for people like me, I can't resist...
Nov 30, 2009 Mark rated it it was amazing
Even if you've never even thought about where steel comes from, reading this gripping story is an unforgettable experience.
May 08, 2009 Todd rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 100-best
This book was included in my book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time.
Apr 16, 2007 Mara rated it it was amazing
Innovative industrialist inspires!
Aug 21, 2012 Nikki added it
Shelves: preston-richard
didn't like it at all
Greg Leary
Greg Leary marked it as to-read
Aug 29, 2016
BookDB marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2016
Beth Sellers
Beth Sellers marked it as to-read
Aug 27, 2016
hellokittyme marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Madeline Wilhelm
Madeline Wilhelm marked it as to-read
Aug 25, 2016
Braham Khurana
Braham Khurana marked it as to-read
Aug 19, 2016
Tze Ru
Tze Ru added it
Aug 12, 2016
kmhain marked it as to-read
Aug 05, 2016
Ronald marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2016
Jasmen Sze
Jasmen Sze marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2016
Shannon Coates
Shannon Coates marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2016
Kim Carlson
Kim Carlson marked it as to-read
Jul 22, 2016
Tommy rated it it was amazing
Jul 21, 2016
Rahul Chowdhury
Rahul Chowdhury marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2016
Jim Duehr
Jim Duehr marked it as to-read
Jul 20, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 14 15 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Republic of Tea: : The Story of the Creation of a Business, as Told Through the Personal Letters of Its Founders
  • Jump Start Your Business Brain: Scientific Ideas and Advice That Will Immediately Double Your Business Success Rate
  • How to Be a Star at Work: 9 Breakthrough Strategies You Need to Succeed
  • Moments of Truth
  • A New Brand World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the Twenty-First Century
  • Questions of Character: Illuminating the Heart of Leadership Through Literature
  • Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits
  • The Partnership Charter: How To Start Out Right With Your New Business Partnership (or Fix The One You're In)
  • Control Your Destiny or Someone Else Will
  • Lucky or Smart?: Secrets to an Entrepreneurial Life
  • The Age of Unreason
  • The Great Game of Business: Unlocking the Power and Profitability of Open-Book Management
  • The Power of Intuition: How to Use Your Gut Feelings to Make Better Decisions at Work
  • My Years with General Motors
  • More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places
  • Discovering the Soul of Service: The Nine Drivers of Sustainable Business Success
  • Never Give In!: The Best of Winston Churchill's Speeches
  • Growing a Business
Richard Preston is a journalist and nonfiction writer.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.
More about Richard Preston...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“A good businessman is hard to bruise and quick to heal.” 1 likes
More quotes…