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Brunel: The Man Who Built the World (Phoenix Press)

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  250 ratings  ·  23 reviews

A celebration of the life and engineering achievements of Isambard Kingdom Brunel by two of the world's foremost authorities.

In his lifetime, Isambard Kingdom Brunel towered over his profession. Today, he remains the most famous engineer in history, the epitome of the volcanic creative forces which brought about the Industrial Revolution - and brought modern society in

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Kindle Edition, 196 pages
Published May 23rd 2013 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson (first published August 25th 2005)
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Tim Corke
Usually these biographical accounts are longwinded, technical and very detailed that often detracts from the overall enjoyment of reading about the subject. I'm pleased to say that Brindle and Cruickshank have avoided this pitfall and created an interesting and readable account of Isambard Kingdom Brunel's life and career.

Designed with the reader in mind, Brunel: The Man Who Built The World is split into chapters that document the key elements of his career; Early Life, Railways, Ships, etc. Giv
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Kevin
Nov 30, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting but heavy going in parts.
Emma
May 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I haven't read any other books on I.K.Brunel, so I don't know how this one measures up but I really loved reading this one! Despite knowing next to nothing about civil engineering, the book was very clear in explaining how Brunel began his career as an engineer and how he progressed from working with his father to being in charge of constructing bridges, ships and different architectural buildings. I feel the book also did well at portraying his overall character and his interactions with his fa ...more
Oliver Hepburn
Jan 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, short, and concise book about the greatest engineer the world has ever known. Isambard Kingdom Brunel transformed the landscape of Britain like no one else before or since, and his story should continue to be told. If you are unfamiliar with the work of Brunel, or you only know the general pub quiz trivia facts about him, then this book is the perfect starting point to delve a little deeper. It covers everything from the life of his father and Isambard’s school days, right up to his deat ...more
Matt
Jul 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brief look at one of the countries greatest pioneering engineers. The book covers his childhood and a brief look at his fathers career followed by his own family and early life.
Brief coverage of his achievements and his not so successful experiments such as the atmospheric railway.
Not overly technical which other books on similar subjects are but seems to lack more detail on how he built or came up with some of his great achievements such as the Saltash Bridge and most of the GWR.
Worth a quick
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Rae
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, bio-memoir
An engaging biography of the life of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, who built bridges, tunnels, railroads, and steamships in the early days of the Victorian period. At the behest of Florence Nightingale, he also designed a portable hospital for use during the Crimean War. This portable hospital greatly reduced the number of deaths from disease. A remarkable read.
R.S.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating book about the life and work of this larger than life genius of Victorian engineering. Brindle writes with an extremely engaging style, drawing on Brunel's own letters and diaries to build insight into his subject's character and the fierce work ethic that drove him to achieve so much in a relatively short time. ...more
Matthew Hurst
A good introduction to the life of Brunel but some of the technical information wouldn’t be best left out, I would have given it 3.5 if I could but I’ve erred on 3 with this.

However it’s short and concise so any of the heavy information isn’t heavily detailed and you get a sense of him and his family in this book.
Igor
Dec 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow Dry information about this outstanding engineer.

The book brings useful information (many times 'dry) about both Brunel´s, Marc and Isambard. Mostly concerning the last.

When I visit Britain, I will surely look for to visit some of his projects, like the SS Great Britain in Briston.
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Reece
Dec 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great read!

Great book portraying the extraordinary achievements of a extremely impressive engineer and individual. An important tail to be shared to future aspiring engineers. Highly recommended.
Paul
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great insights and IMO invaluable lessons for startups today! Start from first principles.
Dan Vine
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
A good introduction,very readable.
Chris
Apr 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book in the Brunel Museum in Rotherhithe and I'm glad I did. It is very well written and concise. I recommend it to anyone interested in the 19th Century. ...more
Michelle K.
Mar 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really great introduction to the life and work of I.K. Brunel.

To note - this edition of the book is about 180 pages, not 288 as listed in the Goodreads info.
Samuel Ewetade
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really insightful into the world of Brunel and origins of the railway. Would definitely recommend for Civil Engineers.
Simon
Jan 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very interesting read. Brunels achievements are amazing. However this book also explores the darker side to his nature.
Stephen Dawson
Feb 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2007
A fascinating read, strongly recommended. It is a beautiful book with many beautiful illustrations, but contains an engaging account of the life of the engineer who was famous in his day and rightly remains so, for his vision, single-mindedness, and the quality of his output in railways (the Great Western Railway in particular), bridges, and ships.

It also fits a gap often missing in biography, between a couple of paragraphs and a 400-page tome. This is almost 300 pages, but with the many illustr
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Peveril
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent overview. Told me as much as I wanted to know, in as much detail as I needed.
Rachel Green
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting & fascinating book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Kristina Brown
This book covers merely the tip of the iceberg. It is a good overview of his life and achievements though, with plenty of illustrations.
Alistair
a factual account of Brunel with some nice illustration . a bit light weight but does the job
Elie
Jul 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
well written book that goes beyond Brunel's life to give an idea about how Victorian England entered the age of Industrial Revolution. ...more
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