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Critical Path Paperback – Feb 15 1982

4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 2nd Revised edition edition (Feb. 15 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312174918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312174910
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.4 x 23.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #106,105 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Critical Path is a state-of-the-art summary of human evolution.” ―Marilyn Ferguson, author of The Aquarian Conspiracy

About the Author

R. Buckmister Fuller received 47 honorary degrees, held twenty-eight patents, was awarded the Medal of Freedom, and was the author of twenty nine books. He died in 1983.

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Format: Paperback
I first stumbled across this title in the small booklet of a Sting CD, if you can believe that (don't forget Sting was a high school English teacher before his "white reggae" stardom.) This is THE twenty-first century survival manual if you ask me. It has everything: green politics, scientific method, soul mechanics, management poetry, global strategies, new age without the sewage, "righteous" criticism, fraternity, and enough flint to provoke a four-alarm fire in your nascent conscience, with an emphasis on the science. A crunchy read.
(Part of my "starter's kit" along with everything ever written by C. Wright Mills, Alvin Toffler, Fritjof Capra, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Campbell, John Kenneth Galbraith, Gaston Bachelard, Abraham Maslow, Michel Foucault, and Bertrand Russell)
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Format: Paperback
This book has some incredible ideas. Granted it is hard to read and probably not for the masses. Bucky has his own style of writing and many get turned off by it. But what he has to say does not fit into the normal speech/writing patterns of today's society. His views on the world are one-of-a-kind. Putrid? Not hardly. Those who rate this low cannot understand his message. I also would not recommend this as an intro to his thoughts. Try "Buckminster Fuller's Universe: His Life and Work"
by Lloyd Steven Sieden, Norman Cousins for some insight on him, or check out the Buckminster Fuller Institute which has many of his books online.
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Format: Paperback
When Critical Path first appeared, I was very taken with how different this world-historical narrative dared to be. The 'Speculative Prehistory' was well outside the bounds of mainstream scholarship. On the other hand, some of the content not labeled as 'speculative' dove-tailed neatly with a lot of history I'd encountered before, i.e. didn't seem too off the wall. Using the evolution of maritime technology to anchor an historical overview seemed a brilliant and productive way to organize a lot of information, and to make connections others had maybe overlooked.

There's also a lot of poetic content here -- the links to bull's head symbolism for example. These symbols or literary tropes come out even more strongly in 'Tetrascroll', a piece of art, but also a narrative (I've been privileged to see one of the few of the limited edition originals in Corvallis, Oregon -- a giant tetrahedral book that unfolds to cover a large floorspace, only 30 or so in existence, if that many).

One of the factual items included in Critical Path which I considered more easily checkable than some of the more speculative stuff, had to do with contemporary maritime matters. Fuller asserted that the Russians, post-WWII, had decided to invest in vertol technology (so had the English of course -- Harriers and such), and to use submarines as a basing platform for their vertols, instead of surface ships (i.e. instead of aircraft carriers). OK, a simple statement of fact.

Now that it's in book that anyone can buy at Borders or Waldens or whatever, it can't be considered secret info, if it ever was secret (I thought it must have been, given Fuller claimed even many in Congress hadn't been privy to this little tidbit hitherto, plus I'd never heard of such vessels).
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Format: Paperback
In 1981 I spent the best part of four months sitting on the beach at Laguna Beach, California reading / studying this book. That experience transformed my life and led me to begin working with the pattern integrity that was and is Bucky Fuller. Entering into the realm then led me to produce and present "lectures and seminars" to help other people appreciate the importance of that wisdom and to begin writing "translations" of his ideas for myself and others.
Those writings eventually became the book Buckminster Fuller's Universe - an easily accessible translation of some of his ideas as well as a guide to understanding how his life affected the development of his famous operating strategy. Much of that operating strategy (for both humankind and each of us as individuals) is laid out in this book.
Spend time with this book. Spend time with Bucky. He was wise enough to make available all that he learned during his fifty-six year personal experiment to determine what one individual could do on behalf of all humankind that could not be achieved by any organization no matter how powerful.
Critical Path is but one of the artifacts he left for our enlightenment, and, in my opinion, it is the most accessible of Bucky's writing. It is not an easy read, but it is well worth the effort. I can personally attest to that fact that understanding and employing the wisdom that Bucky uncovered and shared has the power to make enormous shifts in people's lives as well as the welfare of the crew of the planet he named Spaceship Earth.
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Format: Paperback
Bucky is such an inspiration that it is difficult to separate the man from his work.
Critical Path is a summation of a life devoted to the betterment of all humanity and based on the premise that one individual can make a difference if he or she takes care of the things that need to be done. Through our combined learnings and accumulated metaphysical know-how, humanity has reached a point where we can all do whatever it was we were doing before we had to earn a living.
Unless of course the "pirates" of capital, aka "The Grunch" cheat us of our rightful inheritance.
Critical Path is about the evolution of know-how from the beginning of humanity to the present. Fuller charts out where we came from, the accelerating advance of learning, the ephemeralization of tools and technology and where we go from here.
He also charts out where the "pirates" came from and how they maintain their grip on things. Indeed I was surprised at how candid Bucky's comments are in this regard. It's as if he somehow got inside the inner clique and is reporting its machinations to the rest of us. Read it and see!
Finally, this is a book of suspense. Bucky felt that the war between mind and muscle was coming to a head. He died in 1983 and seemed to predict that the battle between the pirates and humanity would come to pass in the 1990's. I not sure what he would make of things today, but I would recommend that in addition to reading Critical Path, check out the Buckminster Fuller institute's web site and get a copy of "GRUNCH of Giants" (Grunch is the "Great Universal Cash Heist").
Fuller said he was ahead of the times by about 50 years. This makes Critical Path mandatory reading from now until 2030 and beyond.
Do yourself a favor and become familiar with this friendly genius.
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