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Buckminster Fuller's Universe: His Life and Work

by Lloyd Steven Sieden

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1393196,236 (3.75)1
Buckminster Fuller, the brilliant and eccentric futurist philosopher best known as the inventor of the Geodesic Dome, was one of the most creative contributors to innovative thought and technology in the twentieth century. Incomparable designer, engineer, and architect, he proved that a lone genius, through sheer initiative, can have an astounding impact on the world. In this inspiring account of Fuller's life and legacy, Lloyd Steven Sieden brings new light to Fuller's belief system and recognizes his many contributions to humanity.… (more)
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One of the most important books in history. Bucky was a genius par excellence and we have a lot to learn from his societal thinking. ( )
  AlienIndie | May 20, 2016 |
This fairly long book of 418 pages plus appendices covers Buckminster Fuller's life and achievements. It is arranged mostly in chronological order. There are 1470 source notes. Most are derived from books by Fuller, lectures by Fuller, or interviews with Fuller. Others are books about Fuller by other authors. The lack of opposing points of view may give the reader the impression that the presentation is biased. This is reinforced by the way the author appears to take Fuller at his word, and sometimes even adopt Fuller's phrases. When the author writes such lines as, “Early in his mission on behalf of all humanity, Fuller realized that ...” (page 218), it's clear that the author is not striving for a neutral point of view. There are numerous examples of this. However, despite this caveat, I found the book to be a very readable and valuable summary of Fuller's life and work.

Still it would be nice to read critical assessment of Fuller's achievements. As an example, consider the Dymaxion House. This project was commissioned in order to provide affordable housing for the aerospace workers in Kansas during World War II. The lack of housing was making it difficult to retain workers at the plants. When a prototype was built, prospective homeowners given the opportunity to walk through it. According to reports, they were all impressed with the Dymaxion design, and expressed an interested in owning one. Yet the house was never built in the quantity intended, and Fuller himself appears to have been the obstacle in getting it built. The books suggests that Fuller's reason was that he believed that major financial backers and their corporations were poised to profit at the expense of the actual home buyers. This is an admirable objection, if it is correct. But the book provides no support that Fuller's belief was accurate. In this situation, more background research would have been helpful. Had the Dymaxion House been built is large quantities, it could have had a significant positive impact on the housing industry.

Despite wishing for a more balanced review, by the time I had finished it, I found it to be very good and a valuable addition to writing about Buckminster Fuller. The author succeeded in compiling Fuller's large library of books, notes and lectures, into a comprehensive, readable and insightful account of his life and work. ( )
  dougb56586 | Dec 16, 2012 |
This is an absolutely wonderful book about well, Buckminster Fuller's universe! Sieden is intimately familiar with Bucky's thinking and philosophy and has managed an outstanding, brilliant translation of Bucky's more esoteric theories into a comprehensible language. All is embedded into a biography of Bucky and the reader takes part in the journey how his thinking took shape. If you never understood the dymaxion concept, the world peace game, tensegrity, his geometrical ideas, philosophy, how he got expelled from Harvard two times - and how it all connected with his spiritual thinking, this is the book to read! ( )
  hohlwelt | May 18, 2006 |
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Buckminster Fuller, the brilliant and eccentric futurist philosopher best known as the inventor of the Geodesic Dome, was one of the most creative contributors to innovative thought and technology in the twentieth century. Incomparable designer, engineer, and architect, he proved that a lone genius, through sheer initiative, can have an astounding impact on the world. In this inspiring account of Fuller's life and legacy, Lloyd Steven Sieden brings new light to Fuller's belief system and recognizes his many contributions to humanity.

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