Flushed

How the Plumber Saved Civilization

About The Book

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.

About The Author
Photo Credit:

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.

Raves and Reviews

"Witty, enlightening, and just plain fun to read."
-- Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Delightful."
-- Los Angeles Times

"Hodding Carter has enough charm to fill a toilet tank, and I don't mean the new 1.6 gallon low-flush. No one else could make me laugh heartily while reading about the miraculous lead pipes of ancient Bath.... Got to love it all."
-- Mary Roach, author of Stiff and Spook

"Carter is unfailingly good company throughout this genuinely underground history."
-- Will Blythe, author of To Hate Like This Is to Be Happy Forever

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: W. Hodding Carter