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The machine in America : a social history of technology

Author: Carroll W Pursell
Publisher: Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
From the medieval farm implements brought by the first colonists to the invisible links of the Internet, the history of technology in America is a history of our society as well. Arguing that "the tools and processes we use are a part of our lives, not simply instruments of our purpose," historian Carroll Pursell analyzes technology's impact upon the lives of women and men, their work, politics, and social  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Pursell, Carroll W.
Machine in America.
Baltimore : Johns Hopkins University Press, 1995
(OCoLC)622923891
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Carroll W Pursell
ISBN: 0801848172 9780801848179 0801848180 9780801848186
OCLC Number: 31606534
Description: xvi, 358 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: The transit of technology --
The tools brought over --
Importing the Industrial Revolution --
Improving transportation --
The domestication of the Industrial Revolution --
The expansion of American manufactures --
The mechanization of farming --
The imprint of American technology --
Creating an urban environment --
Westward the course of industry --
Export, exploitation, and empire --
Technology and hegemony --
The coming of science and systems --
The decade of prosperity and consumption --
Depression --
Wars and the American Century --
Challenge, defense, and revolution in a postmodern world.
Responsibility: Carroll Pursell.
More information:

Abstract:

From the medieval farm implements brought by the first colonists to the invisible links of the Internet, the history of technology in America is a history of our society as well. Arguing that "the tools and processes we use are a part of our lives, not simply instruments of our purpose," historian Carroll Pursell analyzes technology's impact upon the lives of women and men, their work, politics, and social relationships--and in turn, their influence upon technological development. Pursell shows how both the idea of progress and the mechanical means to harness the forces of nature developed and changed as they were brought from the Old World to the New. He describes the ways in which American industrial and agricultural technology began to take on a distinctive shape as it adapted and extended the technical base of the industrial revolution. He discusses the innovation of an American System of Manufactures and the mechanization of agriculture new systems of mining, lumbering, and farming, which helped conquer and define the West and the technologies that shaped the rise of cities. And he shows how the export of technology helped to foster American hegemony both in theWestern Hemisphere and elsewhere in the world. Pursell also argues that American technology has created a social hegemony, not only over the way we live but also over how we evaluate that life. He shows that such developments as scientific management techniques and industrial research changed Americans' lives as much as the mass production of such durable consumer goods as radios and automobiles. In many ways, he concludes, today's military-industrial complex is the legacy of the intense cooperation between science and technology during World War II. --From publisher's description.

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