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American Steel: Hot Metal Men and the Resurrection of the Rust Belt (1991)

par Richard Preston

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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 machinery, and a driving mission.… (plus d'informations)
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» Voir aussi les 17 mentions

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The story of Nucor, an older company metamorphing for the third time in its history into a new kind of American steel manufacturer, snubbing their noses at 'Old Steel' and building a new, efficient steel mill in a farmfield outside of Crawfordsville, Indiana, . The writing tries too hard to portray cool, tough, cowboy, macho, at Nucor. I found myself thinking 'this happens then that happens', how boring. But I think it the failure of the author to patiently dig in and deliver real, relevant characters whose portraits go deeper than their frenetic energy thus failling to capture the passion beneath. Too bad, because I think there is a huge story in steelworking and steel mills which are of a scale unimaginable to the uninitiated, and a fantastic story in an American company saying 'Yes We Can'. ( )
  grheault | Nov 15, 2009 |
I find Preston's book interesting for a number of reasons. One, it was a gift from my new son-in-law. Two, it is about Crawfordsville, Ind., a place near and dear to our hearts. Three, it is a fascinating story about the little guy (Nucor) taking on the big boys (U. S. Steel and others).
Having listed the positive points, there are just a few minor criticisms.
Preston made a few mistakes in his local research. He tells about racing Busse through the Indiana country side and a town named "Max." He must have meant Mace. He talks about the tavern on Green Street where the steel workers hung out. The place is next door to where I work and I'm sure it was called The Showdown in the era Preston described. Not whatever he called it.
I only mention it because such facts should have been easy to check so I wonder if he got anything else wrong.
My only other criticism of the book is that it is far too technical, which is probably why my mechanical engineering student son-in-law liked it so much. For most of us, the story could have been trimmed by at least a fourth and would have been more interesting.
  frankphi | Aug 28, 2009 |
I included this book in my book: The 100 Best Business Books of All Time. www.100bestbiz.com. ( )
Ce commentaire a été signalé par de nombreux utilisateurs comme étant contraire aux conditions d'utilisation et n'est donc plus affiché (afficher).
  toddsattersten | May 8, 2009 |
A very good book. It mixes the technical, business and personal stories of the rise of Nucor steel. A must read for anyone interested in the renaissance of American steelmaking and the rise of the mini-mill. ( )
  all4metals | Aug 5, 2007 |
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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 machinery, and a driving mission.

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