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An Introduction to General Systems Thinking:
Silver Anniversary Edition

by Gerald M. Weinberg

ISBN: 978-0-932633-49-1  
©2001  304 pages   softcover  
$33.95 (plus shipping)

Subject(s): Systems Thinking

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Sharpen Your Thinking with
Weinberg's Systems Thinking Classic

About the Book

For more than twenty-five years, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking has been hailed as an innovative introduction to systems theory, with applications in computer science and beyond. Used in university courses and professional seminars all over the world, the text has proven its ability to open minds and sharpen thinking.

Originally published in 1975 and reprinted more than twenty times over a quarter century—and now available for the first time from Dorset House Publishing—the text uses clear writing and basic algebraic principles to explore new approaches to projects, products, organizations, and virtually any kind of system.

Scientists, engineers, organization leaders, managers, doctors, students, and thinkers of all disciplines can use this book to dispel the mental fog that clouds problem-solving. As author Gerald M. Weinberg writes in the new Preface to the Silver Anniversary Edition, "I haven't changed my conviction that most people don't think nearly as well as they could had they been taught some principles of thinking."

Now an award-winning author of nearly forty books spanning the entire software development life cycle—including The Psychology of Computer Programming: Silver Anniversary Edition and Exploring Requirements (with Donald C. Gause)—Weinberg had already acquired extensive experience as a programmer, manager, university professor, and consultant when this book was originally published.

With helpful illustrations, numerous end-of-chapter exercises, and an appendix on a mathematical notation used in problem-solving, An Introduction to General Systems Thinking may be your most powerful tool in working with problems, systems, and solutions.


"This is the best single book in this list for classroom or individual use to specifically learn introductory general systems theory."

Alan B. Scrivener
"A Curriculum for Cybernetics and Systems Theory"

". . . this is one of the classics of systems or science of computing. I recommend it to all; it will cause both scientists and nonscientists to examine their world and their thinking. This book will appear on my reading table at regular intervals, and one day I hope to update to the golden anniversary edition."

John D. Richards
Software Quality Professional

"The book under review was originally published in 1975, and the Silver Anniversary Edition is a reprint, completely faithful to the original text . . .

"The discussions of models and structures are almost contemporary. The positioning of the observer as the constructor of the system is very interesting, as is the discussion of stability and change. . . .

"Portions of Weinberg's text are thought provoking and evocative . . .

"[T]his book is an important read, but the earlier edition may already be on your shelf. If not, then purchase this edition."

Terry Plum
The Journal of Academic Librarianship

". . . it is truly an extraordinary piece of work. . . . It is not about computing per se, but about how humans think about things and how 'facts' are relative to time, our personal experience and environmental context. . . .

"Weinberg uses science and mathematics as the genesis point for most of his examples. The laws of thermodynamics, chance and simulations in state spaces are used to demonstrate the points. As someone with a wide background in science, I found his examples of how scientific thought gives us an anchor but yet alters over time excellent learning material. Thought problems are included at the end of each chapter and they cover many different areas. Some involve mathematics, others science and many could be the point of a vigorous philosophical debate. Together they form the best collection of thought experiments and points of contention that I have ever seen gathered together in one location.

"This is a book that is a true classic, not in computing but in the broad area of scholarship. It is partly about the philosophy and mechanisms of science; partly about designing things so they work but mostly it is about how humans view the world and create things that match that view. This book will still be worth reading for a long time to come and it is on my list of top ten computing books of the year."

Charles Ashbacher
Charles Ashbacher Technologies
posted on Amazon.com

". . . provide[s] a stimulating discussion and thoughtful examination of an alternative approach to problem analysis and solution. The book is not so much about how the systems approach works or how it can be applied to complex problems as it is an invitation to his readers to explore their perceptions of what they think they know versus what they really do know. . . .

"Through his examples, Weinberg shows that by viewing a system holistically within its environment, we may be able to discern patterns of behavior/actions and recognize interactions, interrelationships, and interdependencies among the components that will be missed in a reductionist approach. From that view, we can better understand the system and, perhaps, better predict how it will evolve over time. The success of his approach is demonstrated by the fact that people are still reading and quoting his book 25+ years after it was written."

—J. Spears, posted on Rudolph Crater


Dorset House Catalog
This Book's Flyer

By this Author

Roundtable on Project Management: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue, edited by James Bullock, Gerald M. Weinberg, and Marie Benesh

Roundtable on Technical Leadership: A SHAPE Forum Dialogue, edited by Gerald M. Weinberg, Marie Benesh, and James Bullock

Also Recommended

General Principles of Systems Design, by Gerald M. Weinberg and Daniela Weinberg

Quality Software Management, Vol. 1: Systems Thinking, by Gerald M. Weinberg

Quality Software Management, Vol. 2: First-Order Measurement, by Gerald M. Weinberg

Quality Software Management, Vol. 3: Congruent Action, by Gerald M. Weinberg

Quality Software Management, Vol. 4: Anticipating Change, by Gerald M. Weinberg

How to Order

To order this book by credit card directly from Dorset House in New York, please call (800) 342-6657 or (212) 620-4053, weekdays, 9am to 6pm. Alternatively, print out our Faxable Order Form and fax to (212) 727-1044.

To order this book from an online bookstore, please see above.

To purchase at a bookstore, contact our Recommended Booksellers to verify availability. Any store can order from Dorset House using the book's title and ISBN number. Also, bookstores can order our books through Baker & Taylor.

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