Shock Of The Old: Technology and Global History since 1900

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Profile Books, 26.05.2011 - 479 Seiten
3 Rezensionen

Standard histories of technology give tired accounts of the usual inventions, inventors, and dates, framing technology as the inevitable march of progress. They split history into ages - electrification, motorisation, and computerisation - and rarely ask whether anyone bothered to use these inventions at the time. Shock of the Old is not one of those histories.
Instead of asking when a technology came to be, David Edgerton asks when the average person started using it. He reveals that decades- and centuries-old technologies are often critical parts of modern achievements, and that old technologies can remain dominant long after they were supposedly superseded. Letters exist alongside emails and outlasted telegrams; we still make physical books and magazines despite the rise of the Internet - a belated rise considering that the technologies that made it possible was invented in 1965.
Shock of the Old forces us to reassess the significance of old inventions such as corrugated iron and sewing machines and rethink the relative importance we place on the invention of something new, its application, and its widespread adoption. It challenges the idea that we live in an era of ever increasing change and, interweaving political, economic and cultural history, teaches us to think critically about technology.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - Shrike58 - LibraryThing

Having read the author's critique of the British military-industrial state, I knew pretty much what to expect; a polemical dismissal of the inventor as a Promethean figure and of the academy as being ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - ArupForesight - LibraryThing

The main thesis of the book is that we do not understand what the important technologies of the twentieth century are. The book proposes an alternate (controversial) view to the current textbooks on ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

Inhalt

Significance
1
Time
28
Production
52
Maintenance
75
Nations
103
6
138
Killing
160
Invention
184
Selected Bibliography Acknowledgements
248
List of Illustrations
250
28 52
251
103
253
138
256
160
257
184
259
250
260

Conclusion
206
Notes
213

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Über den Autor (2011)

Born in Montevideo in 1959, David Edgerton is one of Britain's leading historians, and has challenged conventional analyses of technology for 20 years. Currently the Hans Rausing Professor at Imperial College London, he writes for the broadsheet press and is a regular on television and radio. He lives in London.

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