This 1991 non-fiction book by Richard Preston, author of The Hot Zone, tells the story of Nucor, and the building of a revolutionary new steel mill.

Nucor is a small, agressive steelmaker. The company began as REO, Ransom Olds's new car company after GM ganked him. REO is best known for its durable, heavy trucks, including the REO Speedwagon. At the time of writing, Nucor was the only domestic manufacturer of bolts. If you have a bolt with an "n" on the head, you are holding a bolt made from American Steel.

The book follows a square mile of Indiana cornfield as it becomes the world's first Continuous Strip Casting Mill, a machine that transforms molten metal directly into rolled sheet steel. Most sheet steel is cast as ingots, then rolled.

The descriptions of the subculture of hot metal men are compelling, as are the images of molten steel. Preston takes us through the mill's first year, through triumphs and tragedies. There is little as immediately dangerous as molten steel.

American Steel is a punk rock band that started in 1995 in West Oakland. They took their name from a block-long sign on the warehouse across the street from where they were standing at the moment. After playing at parties and smaller venues around the Bay area for over a year, and undergoing several lineup changes, which resulted in a more serious band overall, the band started their first US tour, 32 days and 12,000 miles long. They haven't really stopped touring yet, barring the occasional recording session to record their three albums, and short breaks.

Often categorized as just another Rancid clone, American Steel manages to bring in motown, blues, and folk roots to the traditional East Bay sound. They have opened for bands such as The Murder City Devils, Grade, Hot Water Music, F-Minus, and others. They are currently on Lookout! Records.

American Steel is:

  • Ruairi - Vocals, Guitar
  • Ryan - Guitar, Vocals
  • John - Bass, Vocals
  • Jamie - Drums


  • American Steel(1998)
  • Rogue's March(1999)
  • Jagged Thoughts(2001)

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