One Good Turn
A Natural History of the Screwdriver and the ScrewBook - 2000
When editors at The New York Times Magazine were designing millennial issues and wanted a viable answer to the query, they wisely turned to Witold Rybczynski -- renowned social and architectural historian, author of Home and The Most Beautiful House in the World, a man who built a house by hand. Rybczynski's quest to identify the tool that changed the course of civilization became a story of mechanical discovery and genius as illuminating and engaging as Dava Sobel's Longitude. One Good Turn tells the tale of the screwdriver and the screw. Leonardo da Vinci sketched a machine for carving wood screws and the rest is delightfully compelling history. Rybczynski demonstrates exactly how, without screws, there would be no telescope, no microscope -- in short, no enlightenment science -- and why the Industrial Revolution would still be waiting in the wings. The screwdriver, perhaps the last hand-tool in a world gone cyber, represents nothing less than the triumph of precision and mass production. "Savvy and highly readable", (San Francisco Chronicle) Witold Rybczynski renders an uncommonly incisive and lively portrait of human endeavor.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2000
Characteristics: 173 p. : ill. ; 20 cm