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Buckyby Hugh Kenner
Synopses & Reviews
Buckminister Fuller, architect, mathematician, engineer, poet: he is all of these and none of them; he is, in his own words, "a comprehensive anticipatory design-science explorer." He has also said, "Don't try to make me consistent, I'm learning all the time." And just as there is much confusion about Fuller's role, there is equal confusion about his meaning to us, his contribution to the life of twentieth century man.
This splendid book sets out not to simplify Fuller but to clarify him, to make his ideas and accomplishments accessible to all readers. This is achieved through a masterful portrait of Fuller beeng Fuller the audience-captivator; through the use of structural models of how the universe works; and through a selective and chronological detailing of his life. As Hugh Kenner says, "I'll try to give a sense of the man his own book may obscure, and a guide to the sytem of coherences he's given us for our space-age navigating."
In the process, Kenner expailns and illustrates Fuller's major accomplishments; the Tensegrity Sphere, synergy, the Vector Equilibrium, his eradication of pi from physical nature, the Dymaxion House and the Dymaxion Car, and the geodesic dome. He also explores Fuller's basic separte themes; mobility, pollution, industrialization, the recycling of waste, finite resources, and planetary brotherhood.
From all of this emerges a remarkable portrait of a remarkable man, this Buckminster Fuller, "publicity agnet for the univers," whose job is nothing less than to clarify that universe, for himself and us.
Fuller, always ahead of his time, has waited many years for just recognition. Now, as a ubiquitously mentioned "culture hero," he has that. In Bucky, he has, too, the book worhty of him.
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