iGEM Book Review
A Biography of the Genius
who gave us Soil Mechanics
An informal review of the book:
Karl Terzaghi: The Engineer as Artist
by Richard E. Goodman
Published by ASCE March, 1999
ISBN: 0-7844-0364-3; $49.00
Review by Mete Oner
About the Author
Dr. Richard E. Goodman, a geological engineer, researcher, and teacher, widely published in the area of Rock Mechanics, is a receipient of numerous awards including election to the National Academy of Engineering and the Rankine Lectureship.
Goodman has done extensive researh on Terzaghi's personal and professional life going to the best sources in various countries.
Table of Contents
The book is full of original photographs, and even sketches by Karl himself...
The chapters are labeled as
- The Roots of Genius: 1883-1906
- To Work in Europe: 1906-1912
- Ambition in America: 1912
- From Personal Depression to War: 1912-1915
- Return to Intellectual Life: 1915-1918
- The Invention of Soil Mechanics: 1918-1923
- Developments in Turkey: 1922-1925
- Fulfillment and Recognition in America: 1925-1929
- At the Academic Pinnacle in Austria: 1929-1935
- Growing Discontent with Life in Europe: Mid-1930s
- Two Zeniths-Berlin and Cambridge: 1935-1936
- Soil Mechanics on Trial --The Nadir: 1936-1937
- Escape through External Consulting: 1937-1938
- Development of the Observational Method: The War Years
- A Dizzying Pace in America: The 1940s and On
- Harvard, India, and Brazil
- Cold War Politics and Expert Testimony
- The Challenges of British Columbia
- The Struggle to Finish
You will laugh when you read about the kid in his early years-- Born to a noble family of the Austrian empire, Karl was a wunderkid,
you will live with him as he grows up, and invents soil mechanics, one principle at a time.
You will see him struggle with his personal feat of understanding the nature,
and as he ponders about the historic events unfolding before his eyes.
You will feel him as a man when he tries to form a family with Olga, in the midst of a world crisis;
as he tries various places in the world looking for his place. You will see him as a firm believer that he had a task to accomplish in the world, and that's why he was here.
You will see him searching answers to his questions, not only on soil mechanics, but life itself,
and falls in love with Ruth, "a wild, little stray bird." He is happy. Goodman will make you feel this.
You will love Karl. He is an extraordinary man;
he never stops solving difficult engineering problems, you will learn a lot from him..
Then you will weep at the end, when he leaves us...
This is no ordinary biography. It is outstanding.
I did not read it, I inhaled it.
This is a masterpiece about the master.
Karl deserved no less...
© 1999, iGEM