Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization

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Simon and Schuster, May 23, 2006 - History - 256 pages
2 Reviews
Hodding Carter writes, "The unsung hero of human history was, of course, the Brain of Drains, the Hub of Tubs, the Power of Showers, the Brewer of Sewers...the humble plumber.... The Irish may have saved civilization, once, but plumbers have done so countless times."

When we consider the amenities that really make a difference in our well-being, surely good plumbing must rank near the top. But rarely have we taken the time to appreciate the engineering marvels that bring clean water into our homes with the turn of a tap and wash our waste products away with the flip of a lever. Until now.

Witty, anecdotal, and thoroughly entertaining, Flushed not only chronicles the long and notable history of plumbing, but follows Hodding Carter's travels and travails as he casts his own Roman lead water pipes inspired by the writings of Pliny the Elder, descends into the sewers of London, installs a state-of-the-art Japanese toilet in his bathroom, and fearlessly tries to understand everything about this most underappreciated pillar of civilization.

A winning combination of history, science, and firsthand experience, Flushed will entertain and educate all those who have never contemplated the hidden intricacies of this miracle of everyday technology.
 

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Flushed: how the plumber saved civilization

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Though it's a pretty safe bet that the only people who pick up this book will be those who interested in sewage, the author's easy humor, average homeowner's point-of-view, and excitement for his ... Read full review

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I quite enjoyed Mr. Carter's book, which seems to be more of a memoir. I wonder if he remembers my brother, Harold, who was murdered in 1948?

Contents

Jasmin
1
The Humble Plumber
9
When Lead Ruled
24
Do As the Romans Do
39
How We Do It Now
59
Foul
84
A Tour of the London Sewer
96
It Makes Your Garden Grow
118
The Birth of the Toilet
147
What Was in the Toilet? Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Touching the Untouchables 166 193
166
The Power of Poop
216
Do It for Your Plumber
225
Russell and Jasmin Uncensored
233
Selected Bibliography
239
Acknowledgments
241
Copyright

Blame It on the Christians
132

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About the author (2006)

W. Hodding Carter has written for several national magazines, including Esquire, Smithsonian, Newsweek, and Outside. The author of Westward Whoa, A Viking Voyage, and An Illustrated Viking Voyage, he lives with his family in Rockport, Maine.

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