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Mechanics of Materials Hardcover – Jan 4 2011

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About the Author

Born in France and educated in France and Switzerland, Ferd held an M.S. degree from the Sorbonne and an Sc.D. degree in theoretical mechanics from the University of Geneva. He came to the United States after serving in the French army during the early part of World War II and had taught for four years at Williams College in the Williams-MIT joint arts and engineering program. Following his service at Williams College, Ferd joined the faculty of Lehigh University where he taught for thirty-seven years. He held several positions, including the University Distinguished Professors Chair and Chairman of the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics Department, and in 1995 Ferd was awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree by Lehigh University.

Born in Philadelphia, Russ holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Delaware and an Sc.D. degree in the field of structural engineering from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He taught at Lehigh University and Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) before joining the faculty of the University of Connecticut where he held the position of Chairman of the Civil Engineering Department and taught for twenty-six years. In 1991 Russ received the Outstanding Civil Engineer Award from the Connecticut Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

John T. DeWolf, Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Connecticut, joined the Beer and Johnston team as an author on the second edition of Mechanics of Materials. John holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the University of Hawaii and M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in structural engineering from Cornell University. His research interests are in the area of elastic stability, bridge monitoring, and structural analysis and design. He is a registered Professional Engineer and a member of the Connecticut Board of Professional Engineers. He was selected as the University of Connecticut Teaching Fellow in 2006.

David holds a B.S. degree in ocean engineering and a M.S. degree in civil engineering from the Florida Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from the University of Connecticut. He was employed by General Dynamics Corporation Electric Boat Division for five years, where he provided submarine construction support and conducted engineering design and analysis associated with pressure hull and other structures. In addition, he conducted research in the area of noise and vibration transmission reduction in submarines. He then taught at Lafayette College for one year prior to joining the civil engineering faculty at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, where he has been since 1990. David is currently a member of the American Railway Engineering & Maintenance-of-way Association Committee 15 (Steel Structures), and the American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Blast, Shock, and Vibratory Effects. He has also worked with the Federal Railroad Administration on their bridge inspection training program. Professional interests include bridge engineering, railroad engineering, tall towers, structural forensics, and blast-resistant design. He is a licensed professional engineer in Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 51 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
vauge and confusing Jan. 22 2009
By Sara H - Published on
Format: Hardcover
this book talks about theories and derivations of formulas but has nothing about the application, its worded in a confusing jargon and while it may make sense to professors who have extensive knowledge in the field, fo students its confusing and the example problems are poorly explained and irrelevant to the practice problems. There are also tons of typos.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Too dense, over-explains simple concepts and complicates them. April 24 2012
By azuresky - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
-Easy to understand sample problems
-I guess the pictures are pretty?
-Sections are decently short, so I am able to focus on one concept at a time better.
-Yay there's a summary after each chapter!

-Answer key is wrong a lot of times - terrible when you're pulling all-nighters trying to finish two homework assignments.
-Over explaining things: (My biggest problem with this book) Before presenting an equation, the material is too dense and too theoretical/mathematical. I don't feel that half the equations they show are necessary, and the mathematical jargon just makes students MORE confused. I have to read a wall of text before I get to a derivation. Often, the derivation helps me understand the concept better, so prefacing it with a load of text just make me lose interest/focus before I even start. Also, I can tell just fine from the simple two-variable equation how stress and strain relates linearly without a wall of text after trying to again explain the equation to me (that really should have been clear from the derivation). Honestly, the writing makes me feel like the book is trying to "dumb things down" for me.
-I'm a Mech E, not a math major. Show more pictures! Many times the book seem to explain something in purely words, which is terrible and results in walls and walls of text. Most people are visual learners, and it's a lot easier to learn when you have a picture in your head of a simple to understand diagram.
-Consequence of over-explaining: Walls of text with relevant pictures two pages back makes learning the material hard. I constantly have to flip pages just to see what part of the diagram they are referring to. Also, the derivations are so spaced out sometimes that I forget how what step I was on. Basically, the book explains so much I forget what I'm learning.

I should note that I go to a university with an intensely fast-paced curriculum (we spend 10 weeks on a subject and sometimes use two books in those 10 weeks). Perhaps this book is better suited for people who spend a whole year with a single book; for the class I'm taking however, the book is way too detailed and I feel that at least 2/3 of the pages are unnecessary. Maybe it's a marketing ploy to make students pay more for a textbook?
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Sterile April 15 2010
By Kevin Deschamp - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I could not follow the examples or the chapter explanations. I felt as though Beer and Johnson do not want me to understand the basic concepts. I would spend hours on a few problems and understand about half the material. I would buy LINDEBURG books on fundamentals of engineering. Do not buy this book even if it is assigned to the class. Most of your classmates or going to work together on homework problems and never open the book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Gotta raise the stars, cause this book raised the bar April 25 2014
By Mech E - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've had to use this guy's books in three different classes, statics, dynamics, and well strengths of materials. Statics and Dynamics, those books well to put it bluntly.... were the biggest wastes of money and piece of s*** books I have in my arsenal, I literally could only learn from the instructor because it used trig to approach every problem as opposed to applying moments or cross products, just terrible... but maybe beer isn't that bad, he had a coauthor and he just let the other guy write it... atleast that's what I'd like to believe because the style is this book is much different. I was actually dreading this book when I saw who wrote it.


I have actually read this book almost to completion, done countless hours of extra problems, and I think its a pretty damn good book. For those who moaned about how the explanations are long and tedious... welcome to engineering, you need to be tedious to be good at it, those who gave it 1 star for the complexity obviously are probably in business school. While the explanations seem convoluted in the beginning, there is a method to the madness. When you try to solve the problem first you probably just reference lecture notes first and then look back at the book for the equation, "plug and chug" well they sure as hell don't make any sense if you don't understand the purpose of the nomenclature. If you read each chapter in the sections where the equations are listed then follow an example problem, repeating this method... you can easily solve 70- 80 percent of the problems alone, you still need a prof to help; the reason being is this isn't just a class that relies on physics, but its more of logic based than math intensive subject.

The double whammy here is if you got a C in statics, if you read this book and googled how to do cross products, you could get an A if you retook the class.

Also a note.... this is a book for you to keep for a lifetime.... something you could ( I kid of course) pass on to your get the hardcover, its a classic, and its presented in a manner that if you sit down, read, and put in effort, it doesn't matter how gripping the subject is, if you appreciate the field then you will pass your class. I still reference this book for quick review or eqns even though my Shingley's Mech Design book makes it obsolete as a reference book, this thing is slim as hell compared to that encyclopedia.

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Tough book, keep with it. July 14 2009
By Rishi Agrawal - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The book seems almost outdated with its long text. Additionally, the practice problems at the end of each chapter can be confusing to take on based on the text. The book requires a good teacher supplement or secondary reference.


After a while, you'll get a feel for the way the book operates and you'll finish with a very strong understanding of the book's concepts. You just have to stick with it. The problems at the end of the book, although confusing at first, are great practice to applying the concepts in ways that are not explicitly defined in the chapter texts. I'd recommend this if you're willing to take on the problems and have supplemental material available.