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A thrilling drama of man versus nature—detailing the fierce, ongoing fight against the mightiest and unlikeliest enemy: rust. It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more th A thrilling drama of man versus nature—detailing the fierce, ongoing fight against the mightiest and unlikeliest enemy: rust. It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined.In Rust, journalist Jonathan Waldman travels from Key West, Florida, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to meet the colorful and often reclusive people concerned with corrosion. He sneaks into an abandoned steelworks with a brave artist and nearly gets kicked out of Can School. Across the Arctic, he follows a massive high-tech robot, hunting for rust in the Alaska pipeline. On a Florida film set he meets the Defense Department’s rust ambassador, who reveals that the navy’s number one foe isn’t a foreign country but oxidation itself. At Home Depot’s mothership in Atlanta, he hunts unsuccessfully for rust products with the store’s rust products buyer—and then tracks down some snake-oil salesmen whose potions are not for sale at The Rust Store. Along the way, Waldman encounters flying pigs, Trekkies, decapitations, exploding Coke cans, rust boogers, and nerdy superheroes.The result is a fresh and often funny account of an overlooked engineering endeavor that is as compelling as it is grand, illuminating a hidden phenomenon that shapes the modern world. Rust affects everything from the design of our currency to the composition of our tap water, and it will determine the legacy we leave on this planet. This exploration of corrosion, and the incredible lengths we go to fight it, is narrative nonfiction at its very best—a fascinating and important subject, delivered with energy and wit.


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A thrilling drama of man versus nature—detailing the fierce, ongoing fight against the mightiest and unlikeliest enemy: rust. It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more th A thrilling drama of man versus nature—detailing the fierce, ongoing fight against the mightiest and unlikeliest enemy: rust. It has been called “the great destroyer” and “the evil.” The Pentagon refers to it as “the pervasive menace.” It destroys cars, fells bridges, sinks ships, sparks house fires, and nearly brought down the Statue of Liberty. Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year—more than all other natural disasters combined.In Rust, journalist Jonathan Waldman travels from Key West, Florida, to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, to meet the colorful and often reclusive people concerned with corrosion. He sneaks into an abandoned steelworks with a brave artist and nearly gets kicked out of Can School. Across the Arctic, he follows a massive high-tech robot, hunting for rust in the Alaska pipeline. On a Florida film set he meets the Defense Department’s rust ambassador, who reveals that the navy’s number one foe isn’t a foreign country but oxidation itself. At Home Depot’s mothership in Atlanta, he hunts unsuccessfully for rust products with the store’s rust products buyer—and then tracks down some snake-oil salesmen whose potions are not for sale at The Rust Store. Along the way, Waldman encounters flying pigs, Trekkies, decapitations, exploding Coke cans, rust boogers, and nerdy superheroes.The result is a fresh and often funny account of an overlooked engineering endeavor that is as compelling as it is grand, illuminating a hidden phenomenon that shapes the modern world. Rust affects everything from the design of our currency to the composition of our tap water, and it will determine the legacy we leave on this planet. This exploration of corrosion, and the incredible lengths we go to fight it, is narrative nonfiction at its very best—a fascinating and important subject, delivered with energy and wit.

30 review for Rust: The Longest War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Heidi The Reader

    Jonathan Waldman makes corrosion education into much more of an adventure than I ever thought it could be. From the restoration of the Statue of Liberty to rust inspired art and Can School, Waldman explores all sides of the issues of preservation and corruption. His narrative style is very engaging and amusing. The pioneers of stainless steel development and government rust educators, not the most charismatic people, come alive in the text in all of their flawed, quirky, yet strangely inventive gr Jonathan Waldman makes corrosion education into much more of an adventure than I ever thought it could be. From the restoration of the Statue of Liberty to rust inspired art and Can School, Waldman explores all sides of the issues of preservation and corruption. His narrative style is very engaging and amusing. The pioneers of stainless steel development and government rust educators, not the most charismatic people, come alive in the text in all of their flawed, quirky, yet strangely inventive grandeur. Waldman mentions in Rust that engineering students are receiving little to no education about an issue which underlies every project that they will ever undertake. My own degree in political science from a small, liberal arts university, that is smack-dab in the middle of the rust belt, included absolutely nothing about the U.S.'s struggle with a crumbling infrastructure. I think that the students who are interested in the function and operation of government should certainly learn about this. Perhaps, a nationwide effort should be instituted to address this problem. But, from the first chapter about the Statue of Liberty's restoration in the '90s, Waldman illustrates that no one is truly in the driver's seat when it comes to rust response, prevention or otherwise. He devotes a chapter to Dan Dunmire, the director of the Department of Defense's Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight, but makes it clear that Dunmire lacks the budget to truly make a lasting difference. Rust: The Longest War is educational, entertaining, and ultimately very troubling. Readers who enjoy documentary style writing and anyone who is interested in the future of the world's buildings, roads, bridges, sewers and everything else metal will enjoy this book. Waldman isn't able to provide all of the answers to our rust-covered problems, but he raises all of the right questions. He gives us a good place to start. I received a free advanced reader's copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. FTC guidelines: check!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Rust can be gorgeous: (Photos from noted rust photographer Alyssha Csuk) And rust can be deadly: No matter how you look at this, rust is going to affect you, whether you like it or not. It is the persistent and pernicious peril that threatens nearly every aspect of modern society: bridges, pipes, cars, missiles, giant beacons of freedom. Basically if you draw a Venn diagram of things people like and things rust hates you end up with a single circle. Waldman takes the reader through the fascinati Rust can be gorgeous: (Photos from noted rust photographer Alyssha Csuk) And rust can be deadly: No matter how you look at this, rust is going to affect you, whether you like it or not. It is the persistent and pernicious peril that threatens nearly every aspect of modern society: bridges, pipes, cars, missiles, giant beacons of freedom. Basically if you draw a Venn diagram of things people like and things rust hates you end up with a single circle. Waldman takes the reader through the fascinating and under appreciated world of rust. From its near destruction of the Statue of Liberty, to the development of stainless steel to the Trans-Alaska Pipeline the world of rust encompasses so many aspects of our lives. I found the section on cans very interesting. The science of not only creating the perfect can (aluminum now, and extremely thin) that not only preserves the product, but also doesn't affect the taste. Considering some of the stuff that gets shipped in cans, it is impressive that they can be successfully shipped and preserved for as long as they are, while still preserving freshness and not turning into time bombs just waiting to explode in someone's hands. The story of stainless steel is also quite fascinating (as are most things we take for granted in our modern times). Waldman broke up the book into discrete chapters covering various parts of the world of rust. They are a mixture of science, history, and current happenings. They are also quite varied, covering subjects from the Department of Defense's Rust ambassador to a photographer who is fascinated with a rusting Bethlehem steel foundry (pictured above), to galvanized steel. I think my favorite chapter was either the one on cans or the one about the rehabilitation/saving of the Statue of Liberty. One of the over riding themes of the book was how poorly we approach rust. Most large institutions' incentives are not aligned to prevent rust. The U.S. military has a rather meager office devoted to fighting rust, even though its projects have paid enormous dividends in terms of return on investments. Many bridges were built without a long term rust mitigation policy in mind. Typically the local DOT would just slap on more paint, which works up to a point.Other techniques, such as galvanizing the steel is roughly equivalent in cost but offers a much stronger proof against rust. Weapons system acquisitions are judged on their delivered costs, not long term live cycle costs. Until the mind set about procurement and construction changes, rust will continue to be a big problem. While not a terribly exciting topic for most people, rust is an expensive problem we should be spending more time and attention fighting. Waldman does a great job showing just how pervasive rust is in our lives, what we are doing to fight it (little though it may be in many areas), and how much more we could accomplish if we set out to affect change. While the chapters were a bit uneven (some very short, others quite long), I enjoyed the balance of subject matter he covered. This is a great, quick read for folks who like science, history, or the TV show Modern Marvels (because our many struggles against rust is itself a modern marvel!).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Clif Hostetler

    This book explores a problem that has cursed civilization since the end of the stone age, corrosion. All common metals are vulnerable to corrosion unless protected in some way from oxygen atoms and other want-to-be anions. That's the reason one doesn't find pure iron in nature (except in some meteors). It is always necessary to extract it from a rock ore. Rust, the common product of the corrosion of iron, is apparently a catchier title than the word "corrosion" thus the C word wasn't used for th This book explores a problem that has cursed civilization since the end of the stone age, corrosion. All common metals are vulnerable to corrosion unless protected in some way from oxygen atoms and other want-to-be anions. That's the reason one doesn't find pure iron in nature (except in some meteors). It is always necessary to extract it from a rock ore. Rust, the common product of the corrosion of iron, is apparently a catchier title than the word "corrosion" thus the C word wasn't used for the title of this book. Though the subject of this book is technical in nature actually most of the book tells the stories of various personalities behind different projects and products that involve fighting corrosion. The book begins with the story of repair of the Statue of Liberty which came close to structural collapse because of corrosion. The book tells the story of canned food and beverages. Did you know that if carbonated beverage is placed in a bare aluminum can that it will corrode and begin to leak within nine days? The only reason that doesn't happen with cans purchased today is because there is a thin clear plastic liner on the inside of the can to protect it from the stored beverage. Similar liners are used on the inside of almost all cans for both food and beverage. Almost all existing liners contain BPA (bisphenol-A). If you are concerned about BPA, reading this book will give you the heebeegeebees. Then the story of stainless steel and galvanizing are explored as well as the Federal Government's efforts at coordinating strategies for fighting corrosion. The story of an artist who specializes in the photographing rust is then told. The book then moves on the story of the Alaska pipeline. I didn't realize how difficult it is to keep the pipeline in operation. They have a problem caused by the fact that oil production is falling off, and it is necessary to keep oil moving or it will turn into a useless 800 mile long popsicle. Here's a link to a graph showing how oil production has dropped off. Many people not directly involved with maintenance of equipment, structures and facilities probably don't give the issue much thought. But any person who doesn't understand the reality of the electro/chemical process the leads to the corrosion of metals does not have a complete understanding of the material universe we live in. The pernicious tendencies toward corrosion combined with the all too human preference to construct the new over maintenance of the existing has led to our current infrastructure crisis in the USA. We have built up over the years a tremendous inventory of roads, bridges, sewers, water mains, and other utilities which are growing old, and we can't afford to replace them because most of our resources are directed toward building more new things. Thus over three percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) (per this 1998 study) is spent dealing with the consequences of corrosion. The following is an interesting story excerpted from this book: In 1997 a corrosion engineer named Rusty Strong had a rust problem. He was on his way back to Houston from a corrosion conference near Chicago and after deplaning he took a shuttle to the airport parking lot where his black Nissan truck was parked. Before de-shuttling he could tell that something was wrong. His truck was crushed, the cab banged in, the windshield shattered. Incredulous he asked the shuttle bus driver what had happened. The driver refused to make eye contact. “I think a pole fell on it,” she mumbled nervously, “It was an act of God.” Rusty was steaming particularly since nobody had bothered to cover the hole in the cab, and after a few days of rain the floors were soaked. He took the shuttle back to the parking lot toll gate and called a tow truck. Late the next morning in his wife’s car he swung by his office, grabbed a camera and micrometer and returned to the lot. He began investigating. The twenty foot light pole that had fallen on his truck had been removed. But the base of the pole, four inches in diameter, was easily visible on a concrete pedestal one foot off the ground. The base of the pole was heavily rusted on the inside because the weep hole that was suppose to let water out had been grouted over. Rusty took photos and measurements. Then he began inspecting other poles in the parking lot taking more photos and more measurements. That’s when the shuttle bus pulled up, out came the parking lot manager telling Rusty that he wasn’t authorized to take photos. They argued while Rusty finished his study. The Rusty asked to speak to the owner of the lot. The Owner in Florida told him by phone that the pole had been knocked over by a tornado in a rainstorm. Rusty informing him that he was a corrosion engineer who studied rust professionally told the man otherwise. “This was not an act of God,” he said. “It was a failure of man.” He went on informing the owner that were the matter to end up in court that it was precisely someone like Rusty that the owner would want on his side. Rusty figured that the owner didn’t buy it. “A rust professional? Who’d ever heard of such a thing?” After that phone call Rusty drove home and made another call to his insurance company. He told his agent that the damage to his truck was the result of a maintenance failure. To that agent he faxed an article from the journal Corrosion on the same phenomenon in Galveston, Texas along with his photos. Fifteen minutes later an insurance adjuster called Rusty. He was laughing. “This will be so easy,” he said. Now Rusty’s insurance record says, “Do Not Cancel.”

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Gail

    "Only entropy comes easy" - Anton Chekhov With that quote, so begins Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman, a thoroughly researched, but unfortunately not so captivating work of nonfiction. I love nonfiction, from heart-rendering memoirs like Lying A Metaphorical Memoir, Because I Remember Terror Father I Remember You, and Unbearable Lightness A Story of Loss and Gain, to those intended to amuse, such as Hyperbole and a Half Unfortunate Situations Flawed Coping Mechanisms Mayhem and Other Thin "Only entropy comes easy" - Anton Chekhov With that quote, so begins Rust: The Longest War by Jonathan Waldman, a thoroughly researched, but unfortunately not so captivating work of nonfiction. I love nonfiction, from heart-rendering memoirs like Lying A Metaphorical Memoir, Because I Remember Terror Father I Remember You, and Unbearable Lightness A Story of Loss and Gain, to those intended to amuse, such as Hyperbole and a Half Unfortunate Situations Flawed Coping Mechanisms Mayhem and Other Things That Happened. There's also educational non-fiction, which can be pretty hit or miss for me. With this one, I was hoping for a hit, largely because of a glowing endorsement from Mary Roach. "What a remarkable, fascinating book this is. The clarity and quiet wit of Waldman's prose, his gift for narrative, his zeal for reporting and his eye for detail...." - Mary Roach I agree with her on "his zeal for reporting." Waldman's passion and dedication to his subject is evident. It was certainly educational. I can't deny that I know a WHOLE lot more about rust now that I did before. What was missing from the book for me, was the author. The blurb described the author doing exciting things like nearly getting kicked out of can school, sneaking into restricted areas with a rust photographer, and traveling to an Alaskan pipeline to check out a rust-detecting robot! And yes, all these things happen, it's not a case of false advertising. But everything is told with such distance. I got the sense of things happening, but not of the author doing them. Everything feels removed. We are told that exciting things are happening, but never given a chance to feel them. I can't really recommend this unless you are REALLY into rust. It's an okay read that's definitely educational, but it doesn't go further than that. I was given this book for free by Goodreads to read and review. Thanks Goodreads!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bob

    Rust = interesting???? Answer: Yes! Who would ever think rust, of all things, could be worth looking at? Well, it is. Regarded in detail, it has a long and complicated relationship with mankind and, like plenty of other things, we tend to never pay it any attention. Except for spraying the swing set with Rustoleum once in a while. Or not. Elevated from "rust" to "corrosion" and considering the exact chemical process involved (there are several, depending on the materials in the structure), this Rust = interesting???? Answer: Yes! Who would ever think rust, of all things, could be worth looking at? Well, it is. Regarded in detail, it has a long and complicated relationship with mankind and, like plenty of other things, we tend to never pay it any attention. Except for spraying the swing set with Rustoleum once in a while. Or not. Elevated from "rust" to "corrosion" and considering the exact chemical process involved (there are several, depending on the materials in the structure), this well deserves a serious look. Some of the corrosion mechanisms were studied in Chem 102, which I might have liked except for the lab. (I hated chem lab. Outside of bending glass, it was a total bust. If somebody gives you three unknowns, with instructions on how to determine contents, my idea is just to read the label on the bottle. Forget all the tests. Beyond glass tubes and a Bunsen burner, I'm not interested.) Anyway, the Chem TA explained galvanic action, with anodes, etc., and I thought that was neat. But never made the connection with rust. Had I read this book before taking chemistry (and metallurgy, which is part of the Mech Engrg curriculum), I might have actually liked both of those classes. Or at least would have tried to. An amazing book!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Taylor Knight

    I seen this book randomly in Barnes and Noble, picked it up just to read the synopsis, and I ended up reading the whole book. I stood in the aisle, reading this book. This is not a book I would ever normally read and I don't really have an opinion on it but I did read the whole thing in one sitting, in a bookstore isle. I seen this book randomly in Barnes and Noble, picked it up just to read the synopsis, and I ended up reading the whole book. I stood in the aisle, reading this book. This is not a book I would ever normally read and I don't really have an opinion on it but I did read the whole thing in one sitting, in a bookstore isle.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Philip

    From the jacket: "Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year - more than all other natural disasters combined." My dad told me about the Everett Dirksen quote. "Actually," dad said, "Dirksen said he was misquoted, but didn't say anything at the time because he liked it so much." I'm pretty sure that $400 billion counts as real money. Rust: The Longest War is exactly what it purports to be: a book about rust. The jacket goes on to say, "...In a thrilling drama of man versus nature..." While From the jacket: "Rust costs America more than $400 billion per year - more than all other natural disasters combined." My dad told me about the Everett Dirksen quote. "Actually," dad said, "Dirksen said he was misquoted, but didn't say anything at the time because he liked it so much." I'm pretty sure that $400 billion counts as real money. Rust: The Longest War is exactly what it purports to be: a book about rust. The jacket goes on to say, "...In a thrilling drama of man versus nature..." While I won't fact-check the $400 billion claim, we may want to look into the "thrilling" claim. I understand that I'm the one who picked the book up. And it was interesting - much of it. Parts of it dragged. But thrilling? My favorite chapters were the ones on The Statue of Liberty, and canning. I've been on the inside, and up to the crown. It's interesting in there. I hate to think that the condensation from my breath was contributing to the statue's demise, but what could I do? I had to breathe. Besides, it's not like I was these guys spraying the thing with slime. ...Or, more realistically, blasting 40 tons of Arm & Hammer baking soda at it at 60 psi. (pg. 26) Nothing lasts forever, I guess. I'm glad they got her to last a little longer. Hopefully, the comment thread on this review can take off in a discussion about the demise of liberty the virtue rather than liberty the statue. There has to be a metaphor in there somewhere, right? I also enjoyed the chapter on canning. (Someone else out there who read the book is saying, "REALLY?!? Canning? THAT'S the other chapter you liked?" Yeah. There was a lot I didn't know about cans. The coating on the inside of the can. The amount of engineering that went into making one... and making one cheap. A guy at our book club who also read the book brought up the point: think about what it would take for you to make this. If you had to start from scratch, how much money would it cost you to produce one of these things? That's an expensive can. And to think of the number of cans produced: it's staggering. At Ball's plant in Golden, Colorado, "...Every day except Christmas and Thanksgiving, the plant spits out 6 million cans." Think about storing, shipping, filling. That's a lot of cans. It makes me think about how much we consume in general. (Not necessarily in a bad way, mind you. Just... ...you know... wow.) I had never thought of cans as changing the flavor of whatever was canned, either. I'm so spoiled by cracking it open and having that wonderful Coke flavor taste wonderfully like Coke. I take it for granted. Also, a little fact I didn't know: Ball State University is named after the Ball canning company. How did I not know this? I live in Indiana, for crying out loud. (Side note: Here's a picture of the Five Ball Brothers: I think Jonathan Waldman has a thing for mustaches. He use the word something like 30 times in the book. To be fair, it's understandable when describing these guys.) Last, I have to mention LeVar Burton, Dan Dunmire and their quest to combat rust. So, Dunmire is the "Rust Czar." ...I think that's what they called him, right? He's saving us (the American tax-payer) tons and tons of money by getting our stuff to last longer. When contracts go out to the lowest bidder, they may not worry about how long it's going to last - just, does it look good right now? And will it get the job done for now? That, of course is a problem. So, Dunmire addressed it. The book talks about videos produced by Dunmire. I'm sure anybody who has read the book would like to check them out. Well, thank you internet. Here's a link to one. I'm not sure that that's $300,000,000 well spent, but maybe Dunmire gets a free pass since he's saved us so much money elsewhere? You know what they say though, "A billion here, a billion there... pretty soon it begins to add up to real money." The book was interesting, and I'm glad I read it. Our country really needs to have a long talk about renewing our infrastructure. ...But we already knew that.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Biblio Files (takingadayoff)

    When you choose to read a book called Rust, which is, surprise! all about rust, you can't really complain when it's not the most exciting book you've ever read. Obviously I've been spoiled by recent books about salt, paper, longitude, light. Rust: The Longest War is a series of chapters about different aspects of the fight against rust -- keeping the Statue of Liberty rust free, keeping beverage cans rust free while not contaminating the contents, keeping oil pipelines rust free, and so on. Journ When you choose to read a book called Rust, which is, surprise! all about rust, you can't really complain when it's not the most exciting book you've ever read. Obviously I've been spoiled by recent books about salt, paper, longitude, light. Rust: The Longest War is a series of chapters about different aspects of the fight against rust -- keeping the Statue of Liberty rust free, keeping beverage cans rust free while not contaminating the contents, keeping oil pipelines rust free, and so on. Journalist Jonathan Waldman does his part to keep the narrative flowing and rust free, as it were, but there's only so much you can do to explain the processes of galvanization and pipeline inspection without getting into a fair amount of chemistry and engineering detail. His solution to the potential boredom issue is to highlight the quirkier personalities and events that have anything at all to do with the story of rust. There's the pair of activists who climbed the Statue of Liberty to protest the arrest of an innocent man. There are the Star Trek fans among a group of rust specialists. There's the issue of toxic BPAs in the coating used to keep beverage cans from leaking. And then there's Waldman's particular interest in mustaches among the rust engineers throughout his travels. You get the feeling that even Waldman's interest in rust wavered from time to time.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jeff Fabrizio

    At first, I was unsure of how interesting a book about rust would be. I was very pleasantly surprised to be quite interested in reading about corrosion after all. I enjoyed several of the sections in this book, to include the information about the Statue of Liberty and the aluminum cans. Having spent three years stationed in Alaska in the Air Force, I was very excited to read about the corrosion protection used on the Alaskan Pipeline. However, this section of the book, along with several other At first, I was unsure of how interesting a book about rust would be. I was very pleasantly surprised to be quite interested in reading about corrosion after all. I enjoyed several of the sections in this book, to include the information about the Statue of Liberty and the aluminum cans. Having spent three years stationed in Alaska in the Air Force, I was very excited to read about the corrosion protection used on the Alaskan Pipeline. However, this section of the book, along with several other sections, suffers in my opinion from a serious lack of editing. This book would be a whole lot better if it were actually about 75 pages shorter. They could have omitted all the extra detail about some of the behind the scenes of shooting a rust documentary with LeVar Burton, and some of the excruciatingly boring details about some of the people involved in the industry. The exception to this would be the introductory section profiling the early steel and stainless steel pioneers. That was quite interesting indeed. It could have been a very well-paced book with just a little more careful editing. All in all, it was an entertaining and informative read. Don't be shy about paging down and skipping the parts that aren't interesting.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Charlene

    I found reading this book painful in the same way that characters on sitcoms are pained when they have to sit next to the person who wants to talk about all aspects of how trains were built. It's not that I didn't want to hear details about rust. I did. I love rust. I find it completely thrilling when I hear about the war between oxygen and metals. Even more thrilling, and covered brilliantly in Paul Falkowski's book Life's Engines, is how rust taught researchers a lot about when life emerged an I found reading this book painful in the same way that characters on sitcoms are pained when they have to sit next to the person who wants to talk about all aspects of how trains were built. It's not that I didn't want to hear details about rust. I did. I love rust. I find it completely thrilling when I hear about the war between oxygen and metals. Even more thrilling, and covered brilliantly in Paul Falkowski's book Life's Engines, is how rust taught researchers a lot about when life emerged and how animals were able to get larger. In order to get enough oxygen in the atmosphere to support oxygen greedy animals, the bonds oxygen had formed with other elements had to be broken so that free oxygen could circulate and bond with other things. We know this happened because that free oxygen caused rust. There needed to be enough oxygen in the atmosphere to detect rust. This, to me, is a great detective story! It's what I thought I was in for when I bought this book, but it is not what it turned out to be. Indeed, there are many things I didn't know about rust. It is just that I am not as interested in an over detailed account of the current problems caused by rust (unless it is written from the perspective of an evolutionary arms race). On a positive note, I did really like that Waldman made me think about the problems we face with rust. No matter how good we seem to get at making things; automobiles, bridges, buildings, food/soda cans, etc, rust is a foe on par with the AIDS virus. It is powerful and hard to cure. If there had been less detail about rust on various objects and more discussion about this war, I think I might have enjoyed this book quite a bit. As it was though, I found it hard to get through. Waldman did highlight an artist who focuses on rust. I looked up images. Surprisingly beautiful! I don't want to discourage anyone from reading this because if you have the interest in the problems we face because of rust, you should read this book. It's important and we need the best minds to figure out the best ways to help join the fight.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sumit Singla

    I picked up this book, intrigued by the subject. Wow, an entire book about rust? It has some fascinating portions to it, of course. The stories about Lady Liberty and the Alaskan Pipeline in particular do stand out. But overall, the book could easily have been about 20% shorter and still managed to be interesting. Rust is a universal phenomenon and a terribly destructive one too. The impact of rust on a country's GDP is staggering beyond doubt. Who knew oxygen could be so destructive! It's still a I picked up this book, intrigued by the subject. Wow, an entire book about rust? It has some fascinating portions to it, of course. The stories about Lady Liberty and the Alaskan Pipeline in particular do stand out. But overall, the book could easily have been about 20% shorter and still managed to be interesting. Rust is a universal phenomenon and a terribly destructive one too. The impact of rust on a country's GDP is staggering beyond doubt. Who knew oxygen could be so destructive! It's still a good read (even if you're not a chemical engineer or a metallurgist), though a tad longer than it ought to be.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Peter Tillman

    “B/B+”, variable. Liked the Statue of Liberty and Alaska Pipeline stories. Rest were OK or less. I’d read something else of his. This one was way over-hyped. Review that led me to read it: http://www.wsj.com/articles/book-revi... Paywalled, I think. “B/B+”, variable. Liked the Statue of Liberty and Alaska Pipeline stories. Rest were OK or less. I’d read something else of his. This one was way over-hyped. Review that led me to read it: http://www.wsj.com/articles/book-revi... Paywalled, I think.

  13. 4 out of 5

    John Mcchesney-young

    Everyone I excitedly told about this book was extremely skeptical until I began to give examples, at which point they'd open their eyes wide and say, "That sounds really interesting!" Far, far more interesting than you'd probably expect, I promise. Everyone I excitedly told about this book was extremely skeptical until I began to give examples, at which point they'd open their eyes wide and say, "That sounds really interesting!" Far, far more interesting than you'd probably expect, I promise.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jaz

    I had naively assumed we'd scienced our way out of rust, other than cars with salt. We have not. Rust threatens pretty much every inch of our infrastructure and is incredibly costly to manage. Also, beverage cans are masterpieces of engineering. Waldman is (or his writing suggests he is) much more to the right than I am, but this is an observation, not a criticism. Well written, engaging, lots of great facts, and a very pleasant to listen to audiobook. He spends a lot of time writing about the p I had naively assumed we'd scienced our way out of rust, other than cars with salt. We have not. Rust threatens pretty much every inch of our infrastructure and is incredibly costly to manage. Also, beverage cans are masterpieces of engineering. Waldman is (or his writing suggests he is) much more to the right than I am, but this is an observation, not a criticism. Well written, engaging, lots of great facts, and a very pleasant to listen to audiobook. He spends a lot of time writing about the personalities of the different people he encounters on his rust journey, but I generally enjoyed these human interludes despite their lack of rustiness. Also, includes one mention of rock climbing, and multiple mentions of climbing (the Statue of Liberty) in general, so that tickled my fancy!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ali M.

    Storytelling is an art, and Waldman is a master at doing so. 'Rust' was the best written popular engineering book I have ever read. The author has taken one of the dullest subjects in the world, corrosion, and transformed it into something fascinating. As a Materials Engineer, this book strongly inspires me to continue my career further in corrosion. The book itself is divided into 11 largely unrelated chapters that tell some corrosion related story. Chapter 1, "A High-Maintenance Lady" is about a Storytelling is an art, and Waldman is a master at doing so. 'Rust' was the best written popular engineering book I have ever read. The author has taken one of the dullest subjects in the world, corrosion, and transformed it into something fascinating. As a Materials Engineer, this book strongly inspires me to continue my career further in corrosion. The book itself is divided into 11 largely unrelated chapters that tell some corrosion related story. Chapter 1, "A High-Maintenance Lady" is about a protest climb that Ed Drummond, "a thirty-four-year-old English poet from San Francisco with an arrest record for climbing buildings and hanging banners" and his friend Stephen Rutherford did onto the Statue of Liberty in 1980 to protest the jailing of the Black Panther Geronimo Pitt. In their act of climbing the Statue, they revealed tiny holes all over the skin of it that were due to corrosion. Further analysis showed the entire frame was badly damaged and needed an all out restoration. Thus began a huge national effort, with corporations paying money and school children selling muffins door to door, to raise money to, and properly design, ways to restore that statue and keep it safe from large scale corrosion in the near future. Chapter 2, "Spoiled Iron" is about the British chemist Sir Humphry Davy demonstrating how to galvanize (named after Luigi Galvani) steel by coating it with a thin layer of zinc. Davy attempted to find a way to use anodes to make Navy ships corrode less rapidly. The chapter also gives broad overview of corrosion theory. Chapter 3, "Knives That Won't Cut", was my absolute favorite. It tells the story of Harry Brearly the English Metallurgist that is largely known for developing stainless steel. This guy's life was absolutely fascinating, and the author made it even more so with his skilled storytelling. For example: In this way, young Harry became familiar with steelmaking long before he formally taught himself as much as there was to know about the practice. It was the beginning of a life devoted to steel, without the distractions of hobbies, vacation, or church. It was the origin of a career in which Brearly wrote eight books on metals, five of which contain the word steel in the title; in which he could argue about steelmaking-but not politics-all night; and in which the love and devotion he bestowed upon the inanimate metals exceeded that which he bestowed upon his parents or wife or son. Steel was Harry's true love. Or After a long career as a scientist, he insisted that he was an artist, because he thought about steel with his heart rather than his head. Questioning chemists' test results, he called their reports "bogey tales" of "bluff and bunkum". He resisted modernization. He called himself "a breaker of idols and a scorner of cherished regulations." . . . He was curious but opinionated, flexible but intolerant, innovative but persnickety, knowledgeable but overconfident, and determined but obstinate. He was patient with metals and impatient with masters. He even became a class warrior-a lover of underdogs like himself-and then somewhat paranoid. All because of steel. The chapter goes through all his life, his struggles, failures, and successes, and unique personality. I honestly think the author should dedicate an entire book to Brearly because it was so captivating. Chapter 4, "Coating the Can" largely centers around "Can School" an event put on by Ball Corporation a large multinational corporation that controls a huge amount of the can industry worldwide. Cans are shown to be one of the most precisely engineered products in the world, largely because their contents are very strong chemicals that normally destroy the aluminum holding them. Keeping the cans from corroding in extreme environments (a hot truck, a refrigerator, a very humid city, ect) for a long period of time (remember cans can be stored for months) is extremely challenging. Furthermore, the flavor of the drink should not be changed, and the can should not explode (a big problem in the past). These problems are solved with a thin layer of coating on the can. However to make things more difficult, almost every different drink needs a different coating. The controversy comes in because all these coatings are largely based of a chemical called BPA, which is suspected to significantly interfere with the endocrine system of mammals. Waldman concludes by saying I want to be a can evangelist. But I'm torn, because I'd also like to raise a kid someday, and I'd like that kid not to be exposed to a potent endocrine disruptor for the sake of convenience. I'd like to have more faith in industry and government, and feel like I did on the second day of Can School, before I got pulled aside, when I was drinking coffee from a paper cup, marveling at the only thing there not in a can. Chapter 5, "Indiana Jane" is about the artwork of a photographer named Alyssha Eve Csuk, who for years, illegally sneaked into Bethlehem Steel Works, a huge steel producing complex that was shut down in 1995, and it now a giant corroding landscape. Csuk spends hours wandering around looking for the perfect shots. When I googled some of her work it was quite impressive. I admit I skimmed through Chapter 6, "The Ambassador". This is an almost 50 page piece about Dan Dunmire, the director of the Department of Defense's Office of Corrosion Policy and Oversight. Dunmire has, often single handedly, been crafting a strategy to fight back against rust, the "defiant and dangerous enemy" and "silent, pervasive, and unrelenting scourge" that costs the DOD billions of dollars in upkeep of infrastructure and equipment. The chapter focuses a lot on Dunmire's work with LeVar Burton, the host of Reading Rainbow, who is acting as "the Pentagon's public face for rust" (a series called "Corrosion Comprehension" can be found on YouTube). Chapter 7, "Where the Streets Are Paved With Zinc", is about Phil Rahrig, the executive director of the American Galvanizers Association. It largely talks about his work galvanizing bridges, which can save millions of dollars in upkeep fees. Chapter 8, "Ten Thousand Mustachioed Men", talks about the NACE, the National Association of Corrosion Engineers. Chapter 9, "Pigging the Pipe" is about Bhaskar Neogi, an engineer that works for Alyeska, the company that runs the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, and is utterly obsessed with fish tanks. Waldman portrays oil pipelines as an obvious, clear best way to transport oil and depicts opponents of them as complete idiots. The chapter's story is centered around the trial of 'smart pig', which are high tech robots that go through the entire pipeline and look for spots made weak by corrosion (where leaks may happen). Pigs were quite difficult to perfect and often fail. However they are quite successful at finding problems no one had a clue existed, to the point that the city of San Francisco also uses them for water pipelines. Chapter 10, "Between Snake Oil and Rolexes" talks about John Carmona, the young owner of the online "Rust Store" which specializes in finding solutions to every imaginable sort of rust problem. It also briefly talks about Home Depot's rust expert, Cynthia Castillo, and her struggle to find anti-rust products in the store, because they are put in the most neglected areas. The chapter ends by describing the story of David McCready, who made a "Rust Evader" system to protect cars from corrosion. The product was a complete fraud and he was forced to remove it from the market. However it curiously is still sold in places like Indonesia, advertised as top end "US technology". In the last part, "The Future" Waldman draws a general conclusion and gives his own brief opinions about the subjects covered (similar to the last paragraph of Chapter 4). Two good final quotes: He pointed out that with exercise, you can get more physically fit, but you can't stop aging. With corrosion, you can't get time back, but you can stop the clock And While children admire Buzz Lightyear for his bravery and strength and improvisation, the rest of us can admire Robert Baboian, Bhaskar Neogi, and Ed Laperle. Don't we need some engineering heroes? Finally, unlike so many bleak environmental stories of the moral and practicing variety, we may see results long before we degrade and die.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Todd Stockslager

    Review title: The Metal menace Which would be a great name for a graphic novel super villain. Superman would be stymied by his rusted metal bars that would pathetically collapse when the caped crusader tried to show off his super strength. Batman's signal light would fail from the rust corroding its joints and contact points. Well, Waldman documents the real metal menace, rust, in this interesting cross-disciplinary extended magazine piece. He starts his tour of this unglamorous landscape with t Review title: The Metal menace Which would be a great name for a graphic novel super villain. Superman would be stymied by his rusted metal bars that would pathetically collapse when the caped crusader tried to show off his super strength. Batman's signal light would fail from the rust corroding its joints and contact points. Well, Waldman documents the real metal menace, rust, in this interesting cross-disciplinary extended magazine piece. He starts his tour of this unglamorous landscape with the most glamorous of its victims: the Statue of Liberty. After years of neglect, bad planning and paint decisions, and limitations in material science and its impact on corrosion, the iron skeleton and copper skin of the world's most famous statue were dangerously worn and cosmetically unsightly. Politicians, businessmen, and politically motivated trespassers got involved and the statue was restored and saved with enormous publicity and expenditures of public and private funds. But rust is usually less visible and attacks less visible things like pipelines, bridges, and military bases and equipment (which is often in hot, humid, rust prone environments). Waldman spends extended chapters detailing the efforts of the Department of Defense's corrosion office, and the head engineer responsible for inspecting and correcting corrosion problems on the Trans Alaska Pipeline. Decidedly not glamorous, these men (the rust community is almost exclusively male with a preference for mustaches) and policies fight the metal menace from the trenches of inspections, training, materials science, and attention to detail and routine maintenance. Waldman uses a light touch as he combines science, history, reporting and pop culture (Star Trek, Levar Burton, and of course Neil Young all rate mentions) into a fun and fast journey through the rusted landscape we occupy in the technology age. The only thing that keeps this book from a higher rating is its lack of footnotes, bibliography, or even an index. Reading a book like this often yields new references for my reading wish list, but the lack of these basic reader's aids makes that kind of information mining impossible, and renders Rust an extended magazine piece. But don't pass Rust by because of that oversight. It is still worth reading for pleasure and purpose.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nolan

    This is the most compelling and highly readable nonfiction I've read in forever. I couldn't put it down. This is an engaging look at rust and how it affects all of us at one time or another. If you read this, you'll come away blown away by the pervasively desjroying power of rust. I was fascinated to read of techniques used to discover corrosion in the Alaska pipeline, for example. And while I vaguely remember the Statue of Liberty restoration in the mid '80s, I loved reading about that here. As This is the most compelling and highly readable nonfiction I've read in forever. I couldn't put it down. This is an engaging look at rust and how it affects all of us at one time or another. If you read this, you'll come away blown away by the pervasively desjroying power of rust. I was fascinated to read of techniques used to discover corrosion in the Alaska pipeline, for example. And while I vaguely remember the Statue of Liberty restoration in the mid '80s, I loved reading about that here. As to how we combat rust in our lives, there's some sobering stuff here on cans and how cans are coated to prevent the contents inside from corroding them. I'm positive I'll never again take my ubiquitous soft drink cans for granted. I've never thought of the common can as an engineering marvel, but it truly is. The fact that they've made these such that I can open one and not wonder whether this is the random can that is going to blow up and disfigure my face is nothing short of amazing. Of course, I've never thought of rust as the military's most unconquerable foe, but so it is. The amount of money spent to counteract it is staggering, and even that is not enough. You'll be intrigued by the people the author describes who work in the corrosion engineering arena. If you don't normally bother with nonfiction, do yourself a big favor and bother with this. I literally carried my iPad everywhere I went today so I could read this. And yes, just in case it matters, that does include the shower where a Bluetooth waterproof speaker pumped out the audio. There are so many info bits in here that will fascinate you. There's an excellent albeit condensed history of the development of stainless steel. And until I read this, I wasn't aware that the same folks whose mason jars made them famous for decades, the Ball company, also creates the can from which flows my Coke Zero. I had never known all these years about that logo on those cans. None of us are immune from the impact of corrosion at some level. But until you read this, you won't realize the power rust has over us all. Even if you limit yourself to one nonfiction book a year, let this one be the book for this year. You won't regret it.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Converse

    I was astounded to find that corrosion could be an interesting subject. Who knew that: 1) The 1980 climb of the Statue of Liberty by Ed Drummond and Stephen Rutherford to place a banner demanding the release of Geronimo Pratt,, a Black Panther (falsely) convicted of murder, led to the discovery that the statue's frame was rusting away. The climbers were initially thought to be using pitons, but the numerous holes were actually do to corrosion. The contact between the iron frame and the copper cla I was astounded to find that corrosion could be an interesting subject. Who knew that: 1) The 1980 climb of the Statue of Liberty by Ed Drummond and Stephen Rutherford to place a banner demanding the release of Geronimo Pratt,, a Black Panther (falsely) convicted of murder, led to the discovery that the statue's frame was rusting away. The climbers were initially thought to be using pitons, but the numerous holes were actually do to corrosion. The contact between the iron frame and the copper cladding had in essence created a battery that was mainly destroying the frame. 2) The Pentagon has a rust czar, Dan Dunmire, who hired LeVar Burton, known to me from Star Track: the Next Generation, to host a series of anti-corrosion videos. Dunmire has also done things that are more likely to pay off, such as inspecting a Navy-owned oil pipeline just in the nick of time to prevent a leak, and now his office reviews construction plans and weapons designs so that corrosion resistance is designed into these things in the first place. The Government Accountability Office has found an average $50 saved for every dollar spent by Dunmire's office. 3) Food and beverage cans have a coating on the inside of them to prevent corrosion; the more corrosive the contents, the thicker the layer. Tomatoes and tomato products seem to be the most corrosive; beer is only slightly corrosive. Unfortunately, the American industry continues to use BPA, a chemical which is an endocrine disruptor and estrogen mimic, as the most commonly applied coating. 4) Large corrosion-detecting robots, called pigs, are introduced into oil pipelines, and more recently sewers, to look for corrosion damage. It takes a pig about a month to travel the length of the Trans-Alaska pipeline. These devices may use ultrasound to find corrosion-related damage, or detect magnetic anomalies associated with corrosion, Unfortunately, while the owners of this pipeline are quite diligent, far too many other pipeline owners are not. 5) Rust can be beautiful, as Alyssha Eve Csuk's photos of the remainder of the closed Bethlehem Steel plant show. I first posted this review on Amazon.com

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jason Arias

    I received a free advanced reader's copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. Okay, here's the deal, I'm not a rust nut (if that's even a thing) or a civil engineer (by any stretch of the imagination), but despite these shortcomings I found parts of this book extremely interesting. If you're into details, there are sections of chapters that definitely 'go deep'. But even if subatomic numbers make your vision blurry, like me, Waldman has a knack at sussing out the human story within the ox I received a free advanced reader's copy of this book through Goodreads First Reads. Okay, here's the deal, I'm not a rust nut (if that's even a thing) or a civil engineer (by any stretch of the imagination), but despite these shortcomings I found parts of this book extremely interesting. If you're into details, there are sections of chapters that definitely 'go deep'. But even if subatomic numbers make your vision blurry, like me, Waldman has a knack at sussing out the human story within the oxidation. Everything degrades; that's just a fact. The reasons behind that degradation are logical enough (I'm not saying I could write a paper on it, but I get it). The story isn't really in the rust though, it's in the lengths we've gone to preserve our metals, or package our beverages (chapter 4, my favorite; even if you don't read the book you should at least read this chapter), or pipe our oil are pretty mind blowing. Even if many of us can't initially see the beauty in the blotchy reds and streaking browns (like the artistic eye of rust-photographer Alysha Csuk in chapter 5) we can all appreciate the philosophical merit of nothing staying pristine, nothing lasting forever. And even though we know we can't remain, don't we all secretly yearn to leave something behind that says we were here. Like a time capsule for future generations. Here's thing, though, like some catch-22 sci-fi irony, all the stuff in that time capsule is going to fall victim to the very oxygen that keeps us alive. Until now. Before you bury your old photos and concert keepsakes make sure to read the final chapter of Rust, titled The Future, and get your hands on a product that will preserve your time-capsuled-treasures long after your grandchildren's grandchildren are just memories. Also, leave a treasure map, or something, somewhere. Come on, nobody's just going to stumble upon that thing.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paul Pessolano

    “Rust, The Longest War” by Jonathan Waldman, published by Simon and Schuster. Category – Business/History Publication Date – March 10, 2015 It took me longer to read this book than “War and Peace”, and it has less pages. If this book is meant for anyone it is best suited for those interested in Metallurgy, and I mean a serious interest. The subject matter is rust and its impact upon our lives, and how it is a battle that we have been fighting since time began. It tells of the people who work in the “Rust, The Longest War” by Jonathan Waldman, published by Simon and Schuster. Category – Business/History Publication Date – March 10, 2015 It took me longer to read this book than “War and Peace”, and it has less pages. If this book is meant for anyone it is best suited for those interested in Metallurgy, and I mean a serious interest. The subject matter is rust and its impact upon our lives, and how it is a battle that we have been fighting since time began. It tells of the people who work in the corrosive industry, how it is an up hill battle to get other people interested in the subject, let alone fund a project to combat rust. There is an exceptional part of the book that deals with the Ball Brothers and their company. They started out making Ball jars or Mason jars, remember canning? They were making a fortune; they were basically a monopoly, until the Federal Government went after them and threw the Sherman Anti-Trust Act at them. They sold the jar business and went into making aluminum cans. They are now the largest producer of aluminum cans in the world. It is amazing how much the world depends on these cans. It is also amazing what it takes to make these cans. Almost every product, food or drink, has its own special lined can. This is necessary to prevent a breakdown in the product which would make it undesirable to eat or drink. The later part of the book is about the Alaska pipeline and “pigging” the pipeline. This is a long drawn out part of the book that will be little interest to the average or everyday reader. Again, if you are interested in the subject matter it may be a good read for you.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Alli

    You'd think that reading a book about rust would be as exciting as reading a book about paint drying or grass growing, but Rust: The Longest War is actually quite fascinating. Jonathan Waldman presents things we take for granted, like cans, and delves into every aspect of its development, production, maintenance, and history. He shares this information with us by often following the work of one individual; for example, a photographer to takes stunning photos of an abandoned, rusting, structure o You'd think that reading a book about rust would be as exciting as reading a book about paint drying or grass growing, but Rust: The Longest War is actually quite fascinating. Jonathan Waldman presents things we take for granted, like cans, and delves into every aspect of its development, production, maintenance, and history. He shares this information with us by often following the work of one individual; for example, a photographer to takes stunning photos of an abandoned, rusting, structure or an engineer who maintains the oil pipeline in Alaska. What could be a technical, boring text full of chemical jargon is instead a collection of intriguing stories that demonstrate the complexity of, and history behind, stuff that tends to rust. While there is, by necessity, explanation behind the why and how of corrosion, Waldman's writing is quite readable and won't have you sweating under flashbacks of chemistry classes. While some of the chapters are more interesting than others, each of them demonstrates why rust is such a monumental problem and how we've been battling it for as long as we've been using metal. At times the text seems to run on a bit, but overall rust is a far more interesting subject than I expected. In fact, I have already suggested to my children that they become corrosion engineers when they grow up, although my daughter might have a hard time growing the mustache that Waldman indicates, along with a pocket protector, is part of a corrosion engineer's typical uniform.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Boyce

    A fascinating glimpse into the world of rust and the impacts it has on society. This book is a truly comprehensive history of rust, covering everything from the impact on aluminum cans to the impact on the military. Prior to reading this book I hadn't really thought much about rust, other than the basics when it impacted my life, after reading I will certainly pay more attention to rust and the ways that it impacts life. As well as being an engaging read, this book immersed me in a lot of new inf A fascinating glimpse into the world of rust and the impacts it has on society. This book is a truly comprehensive history of rust, covering everything from the impact on aluminum cans to the impact on the military. Prior to reading this book I hadn't really thought much about rust, other than the basics when it impacted my life, after reading I will certainly pay more attention to rust and the ways that it impacts life. As well as being an engaging read, this book immersed me in a lot of new information, what more can one ask for from a nonfiction read?

  23. 4 out of 5

    Martin

    Quite a sterling debut. Each chapter covers this ignored but fascinating topic from completely different viewpoints, with various degrees of interestingness, but no shortage of impeccable coverage, great detail on the human personalities, a healthy injection of good humor, and non-stop fascination with mustaches. He then wraps up all the loose ends quite nicely, and gives good, pragmatic solutions for the future. Excellent, important read. Nicely done.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Cindy

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This book sheds light on a "war" I never realized. The author takes a dry subject and spins it into a humorous, historical, fascinating read! As an avid sailor, I was hooked from the first chapter and never put the book down. Eye opening and well written. This book sheds light on a "war" I never realized. The author takes a dry subject and spins it into a humorous, historical, fascinating read! As an avid sailor, I was hooked from the first chapter and never put the book down. Eye opening and well written.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Nooilforpacifists

    Rust never sleeps, but parts of this book were soporific; all of it was disjointed. Still, some good points made: mostly that an ounce of prevention, etc., and that were we not so enthralled with building new bright, shiny objects, we could maintain existing ones far cheaper.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Debra Hennessey

    I've got to find more books by this guy. He made rust interesting. I've got to find more books by this guy. He made rust interesting.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Joe Rousmaniere

    A clever and informative book. Read of the year so far for me. The section on can coatings (every can has a sprayed on interior coating. Who knew?) is worth the price of admission alone.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Cherie

    Compulsive, funny and fascinating. I just called up a friend to talk about why more bridges aren't galvanized in this country. Clearly I've got Rust under my skin. Compulsive, funny and fascinating. I just called up a friend to talk about why more bridges aren't galvanized in this country. Clearly I've got Rust under my skin.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Casey

    A good book, providing an overview of iron oxide corrosion and its effect on our lives. This is a unique book, confronting a topic that is both very specific to a particular type of material and extremely wide given that material’s pervasiveness in today’s society. The author writes the book with a journalistic method, with each chapter essentially a unique feature article about a specific industry where corrosion plays a significant part or about individuals whose careers are centered around th A good book, providing an overview of iron oxide corrosion and its effect on our lives. This is a unique book, confronting a topic that is both very specific to a particular type of material and extremely wide given that material’s pervasiveness in today’s society. The author writes the book with a journalistic method, with each chapter essentially a unique feature article about a specific industry where corrosion plays a significant part or about individuals whose careers are centered around the presence of pervasive rust. Topics include the effects of corrosion on the food canning industry, the Pentagon’s rust czar, rust as art, and the surprisingly unsuccessful industry of rust prevention. Along the way the substantial costs of corrosion are hammered home, not just the dollar costs, but the human toll, the environmental dangers, and the inefficiencies of preventive measures. As a person who has served on a number of ships, I was heartened (and saddened) to learn that the same simple but time consuming preventive measures so difficult to rigidly implement with Sailors also confronts many corporate and public organizations. In many cases it is easier, though more expensive, to just build new rather than prevent corrosion. I was disappointed by the lack of significant technical details on corrosion prevention, outside of a surprisingly in-depth analysis of the sometimes questionable materials which line our canned goods. This book is more about calling attention to the cost and profusion of rust rather than presenting any coherent thesis on its prevention or mitigations. Still, it is a good book for understanding the complexity of the problem. Highly recommended for those wanting to find solace in knowing you are not alone in the fight against inopportune iron oxidation.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben

    "Rust" is a fun read that covers various stories related to rust and other forms of corrosion. Oddly, I do like the idea of referring to all of corrosion as rust. It’s such a simple syllable and why should the corrosion of iron get its own word? The book starts off with a couple of historical tales related to rust and then shifts to more contemporary ones, though the author continues to blend in some historical details. As the significance of rust increases proportionally with the advancement of "Rust" is a fun read that covers various stories related to rust and other forms of corrosion. Oddly, I do like the idea of referring to all of corrosion as rust. It’s such a simple syllable and why should the corrosion of iron get its own word? The book starts off with a couple of historical tales related to rust and then shifts to more contemporary ones, though the author continues to blend in some historical details. As the significance of rust increases proportionally with the advancement of civilization, this makes sense- even if I was hoping for more stories from older civilizations. Mr. Waldman’s writing is fluid and his narratives are entertaining. His hijinks at an aluminum can factory’s Can Camp and an abandoned steel mill add a personal and humorous touch. It was odd then that the chapter centered on the pigging (a process I was completely unaware of) of the Alaska oil pipeline was written almost exclusively in the third person. Surely, there would have been amusing adventures in those northern climes. I almost have to question if the author of this chapter was the same as that of the others. Nevertheless, this book is full of fascinating people and their missions to combat rust. I highly recommend "Rust" if for whatever reason one happens to be interested in one of the biggest and most ignored pests of modern day society.

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