Mill is, simply put, remarkably well crafted. In it, David Macaulay gives us a brief history of the beginnings of the textile industry in America, walks us through the planning and construction of four successively more complex mills, lavishly illustrates the buildings, the machines and their power sources and, at the same time, manages to thoroughly convince us that we would never want to work in one.
This last trick is subtle and, to my knowledge, doesn't appear in any of the other books in this series. From Cathedral, City and, to a lesser extent, Castle, you get the distinct feeling that these were great and noble projects that you would have loved to have been a part of. You get this sense too from Mill, but the heady rush that comes with the idea of building something from the ground up is tempered by small, fictional diary entries that betray the harshness of life for those who worked in the mills after their completion.
Mill is a strong contender for a place in your personal and permanent library. It is beautifully illustrated, historically grounded, thoroughly researched, accented with social commentary and, most importantly, it is an enjoyable, absorbing read.