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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid book; a biography for general reader and expert alike!, 21 May 2010
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J. Holm - See all my reviews
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This review is from: George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success (Hardcover)
Lively and entertaining, yet scholarly, this is the first joint biography of the Stephensons since Rolt's in 1960, which covers not only their colossal engineering achievements but also their impact on the society and politics of their age.
David Ross's highly readable account of the Dynamic Duo - father of the railways and bridge-building son - gives due credit to all those of the time who inspired the vision of the railways but firmly places George and Robert as, rightly, the men who made the dream a reality and helped change the pre-railway world irreversibly.
Their setbacks and world-changing successes are carefully delineated, but with delightful touches of humour. George's forcefulness, determination and warmth of personality comes over clearly in Mr. Ross's well-written work, as does his ability to be a good hater; the tale of his tussle with Sir Humphry Davy over his safety lamp springs to mind. Robert is shown to be just as determined though more low key and possibly more given to self-doubt, as shown by his worries over the great bridges he built, such as Menai and Conwy.
The formidable technical data involved in their many projects are smoothly incorporated in the text so that I myself, very much a layman, was not overwhelmed by figures and had no great difficulty in understanding them; and the writer does this without detracting from their complexity.
All in all a great book; I enjoyed it!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A chronological march through the decisive decisons of the Stephenson's professional lives, 4 Aug 2012
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C. Nicholas (Zurich, Switzerland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success (Hardcover)
I have had an interest in the Stephenson's since I first became aware of their locomotive creation the "Rocket". Don't tell the British Science Museum, but I reached over the stantions and touched it. I had made a pilgrimage and it was a spiritual thing ;-) After a recent business trip to Newcastle I sought out the old works, which are still standing, and decided to learn more about the men. I truly enjoyed George and Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success. I would advise it is in no way a romanticized version of their lives or accomplishments, although their astounding story needs no such embellishment. It is a chronological march, often week by week, and month by month, on the critical events, decisions and projects in their lives. Altough these men are heroes, it is not written about heroes. It is written about driven men who sacrificed most everthing to accomplish their goals and to pursue their insatiable need to put their mark on what they recognized in the moment as historic events. The author was very capable at delivering the magnitude, complexity and challenges of the Stephenon's phenomenal engineering feats without losing this reader in jargon or boredom. As a layman I understood the engineering, the multitude of simultaneous projects, and could easily keep the thread of events, projects and the myriad cast of big name Contemporaries who were involved with, or had influence on, the Stephenson's. Finally, the exploration of the father and son dynamic was enlightened.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stephenson Brothers Engineers, 15 Oct 2012
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This review is from: George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success (Hardcover)
Very interesting book particularly those interested in engineering achievements over the years. The author should be complimented on the research he has carried out.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 5 Aug 2014
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This review is from: George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success (Hardcover)
A great insight to 2 great men
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3 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Train! Trains! ans more Train!, 4 Aug 2010
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Amazon Customer (Chingford, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success (Hardcover)
the person this was bought for thought it was brilliant, but he is a train buff.
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George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success
George & Robert Stephenson: A Passion for Success by David Ross (Hardcover - 12 Mar 2010)
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