Why do buildings and bridges suddenly collapse, or why do airplanes fall out of the sky ? Even though since the start of the industrial revolution the relative number of disastrous accidents has gone down, it is still a daily event.
Some great examples are given (most prominently the walkway of a Houston hotel that collapsed during the opening ceremony) with pictures and detailed analysis. Great stuff even for non civil-engineers since with some imagination you may learn some more general design lessons.
The editorial side of the book is less impressing, most facts and interpretations are repeated 3 or 4 times throughout the book (excluding the introduction and back flap) so I never got further than 3 quarters into it, preventing myself from another deja vu.