Summary of Rust

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Rust book summary


9 Overall

9 Importance

9 Innovation

8 Style


In daily life, rust is terrible and pervasive. Science writer Jonathan Waldman explains that rust is omnipresent, destructive and expensive. Humans have been fighting rust for centuries. Even if they win, sometimes the victories aren’t worth the cost. Waldman’s book is an intimate, personal, poetic and inventive account of what rust is, what it costs, how people fight it, and how other people find it beautiful. Its weakness is the flip side of its strengths: Waldman is so enthusiastic that he adds in so much detail that some readers may flag. The most ardent rustophile may lose the thread of rust in his extended, yet always meaty and worthwhile, biographical sketches. Still, getAbstract recommends Waldman’s highly entertaining, smart saga to anyone interested in industrial civilization, accident prevention, science writing or new perspectives.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What rust is,
  • How rust attacks all aspects of industrial civilization, and
  • How people fight rust and at what cost.

About the Author

Jonathan Waldman has written for The Washington Post, McSweeney’s and Outside. He was a Ted Scripps Fellow in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.



Rust: Costs and Realities
Rust is the pervasive enemy of just about everything people build. It destroys bridges, nuclear bombs, jets, oil pipelines and washing machines. You name it, rust slows it down, clogs it up, makes it leak or blows it up. Objects rust at different rates, depending...

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