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Download American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm ePub

by Thomas Hughes

Download American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm ePub
  • ISBN 0670814784
  • ISBN13 978-0670814787
  • Language English
  • Author Thomas Hughes
  • Publisher Viking; 1st ptg. edition (April 28, 1989)
  • Pages 528
  • Formats lit doc lrf docx
  • Category Fiction
  • Subcategory United States
  • Size ePub 1569 kb
  • Size Fb2 1370 kb
  • Rating: 4.2
  • Votes: 609

Traces the history of the American aptitude for invention and technology, from the development of the incandescent light and the radio through to the Manhattan Project and the space program

Thomas Hughes published his book in 1989, when Americans believed that the grandeur of American technological . Hughes divides the century of American technological genesis into two periods.

Thomas Hughes published his book in 1989, when Americans believed that the grandeur of American technological achievement had matured into something less flashy, yet more durable and equally pregnant with accomplishment. The first, from roughly 1870 to 1920, was the golden era of the independent inventors.

Hughes, Thomas P. Publication date. Academic Literacy, Reading Level-Adult. New York : Viking Penguin ; Harmondsworth, Middlesex : Penguin Books. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by MerciG on October 18, 2010. SIMILAR ITEMS (based on metadata).

The book that helped earn Thomas P. Hughes his reputation as one of the foremost historians of technology of our age and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, American Genesis tells the sweeping story of America’s technological revolution. Hughes his reputation as one of the foremost historians of technology of our age and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, American Genesis tells the sweeping story of America's. Hughes his reputation as one of the foremost historians of technology of our age and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990, American Genesis tells the sweeping story of America's technological revolution. The book that helped earn Thomas P.

Thomas Hughes published his book in 1989, when Americans believed that the grandeur of American technological achievement had . Hughes divides the century of American technological genesis into two periods

Thomas Hughes published his book in 1989, when Americans believed that the grandeur of American technological achievement had matured into something less flashy, yet more durable and equally pregnant with accomplishment.

Опубликовано: 14 сент.

American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970. For a critical application of Thomas Hughes, see: Shamir, Ronen (2013). Current Flow: The Electrification of Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press. New York, NY: Viking, 1989. Which was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist.

Einstein, Inventors, and Invention Thomas P. Hughes - 2005 - In M. Gorman, R. Tweney, D. Gooding & A. Kincannon (ed., Scientific and Technological Thinking.

American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970 by Thomas P. Hughes. Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 82:547-548 (1991). Einstein, Inventors, and Invention. Thomas P. Hughes - 1993 - Science in Context 6 (1):25-42. Innovation Studies : The Invention of a Specialty. Benoît Godin - 2012 - Minerva 50 (4):397-421. pp. 277. R. B. Perry on the Origin of American and European Pragmatism. Hughes his reputation as one of the . Genesis : A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm.

book by Thomas P. American Genesis : A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm.

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MrCat
Thomas Hughes provides a critical look at how technology developed throughout the 20th century. The book begins in the 1870's with the inventors workshop and people like Edison gathering machinists around to develop new technologies for profit. This type of work space was based upon proprietary knowledge and combing the skills of those present. It was not a business driven venture on a product but it focused on the business of innovation. From the centers of innovation corporations began to develop their own think tanks and research and development labs. Although the book leaves out the early efforts of Du Pont it does pick up with AT&T and Bell Labs as the forbearers' of corporate research. The military became the other area for innovation as World War I and eventually 2 brought together science and research in a whole new way from the TVA to the Manhattan project. Also included in this new venture was mass production and the scientific management of Frederick Taylor that was employed at companies such as Bethlehem Steel and beyond. The book trails off in the 1970's with the countercultures efforts at rejecting Taylorism and starting into the PC revolution. This book provides an excellent synopsis of these doctrinal shifts in technological production and how they shaped America.
Zetadda
Starting with a flurry of patents in the late nineteenth century, Hughes traces the history of technological development and its social impact. He begins with independent and dynamic inventor-entrepreneurs who applied a non-theoretical, trial-and-error approach to invention and who needed to appeal to sponsors for funding and implementation of their inventions. They were pragmatists who often used metaphors to try to understand and solve their problems (pp. 75-83 offers an excellent exposition of metaphor). They were eventually replaced by scientists working in cooperative settings, not often concerned with the practical uses of science and technology, but guided by curiosity and theoretical considerations. They were theoreticians who used mathematical symbols to find new avenues of research. This is one of the main tensions that runs through the book: practical inventors and engineers versus abstract-minded scientists.

Ironically, it was the individual inventors, like Edison and Ford, who undermined their own way-of-life by implementing the rigid, hierarchical system that mitigated the role of individual creativity and initiative, swallowing both the inventor and the scientist. Samuel Insull, who had worked under Edison, built an elaborate and intertwined conglomeration of electrical utilities, and stimulated demand as a means to lower electricity prices and justify massive integration - here we see the beginnings of the intimate relationship between consumerism and technological advancement. The system was further conceptualized and elaborated by Frederick Taylor's scientific management ("the system must be first") and implemented in ever-increasing complexity until it culminated in the Manhattan project - the largest and most complicated system in history.

Although the Eisenhower administration was the main impetus behind this project, the former president warned of the perils of the military-industrial-university complex. Further elaborated by Lewis Mumford and Herbert Marcuse, they criticized that such a "complex" would, as Marx had done so after the first Industrial Revolution, lead to the separation between man and his work. In such a pervasive system, man would be ruled and manipulated not by despots or the industrial class, but by indeterminate algorithms and processes, that would cut man off from himself, others, and nature.

One of the surprising elements in the history is the crucial role that European, especially German, scientists, engineers and craftsman had in the American genesis. They were integral at every stage of development, from the first individual inventors who needed skilled tradesmen, to the engineers and scientists of Germany's Chemical Revolution employed by the new R&D departments of American companies, up until the Manhattan Project which actively sought Nobel laureates Leo Szilard, Eugene Wigner and Enrico Fermi to steer the nuclear physics program. Especially in the arts, design and architecture, the Europeans reflected back to the Americans the ideals of the technological transformation - efficiency, speed, usefulness, purposefulness, and simplicity - as embodied in the Bauhaus, Futurist and Modernist movements.

This book complements Hughes' other book: Human-Built World. The former emphasizes the the narrative of change and its impact on society, while the latter discuses the philosophical underpinnings of American technological development as a means to build a Second creation, which is only alluded to in the former. They should be read in tandem to fully understand Hughes' overarching theses.
Tebei
Good book, dense read. Used it for my History of Science class, and read about 40% of it. Would recommend if you love that subject.
Legend 33
Excellent book if you want to know about the history and progression of invention in America.
funike
nice condition - thanks.
Brariel
In "American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870 – 1970", Thomas P. Hughes “argues that inventors, industrial scientists, engineers, and system builders have been the makers of modern America. The values of order, system, and control that they have embedded in machines, devices, processes, and systems have become the values of modern technological culture” (pg. 4). Further, Hughes argues, “Technology was, and is, socially constructed” (pg. 5). Hughes “presents practitioners of technology confronting insolvable issues, making mistakes, and causing controversies and failures. [He] shows the practitioners creating new problems as they solve old ones. This book intends to present the history of modern technology and society in all its vital, messy complexity” (pg. 5).
Hughes writes, “If we wish to understand the nation’s rise to industrial and technological pre-eminence, we ought to fathom the complex character and manifold activities of the independent inventors. Instead of accumulating more biographical sketches of a heroic cast, we need to discover and understand the characteristics the inventors shared” (pg. 15). Hughes counters the rags-to-riches narratives, demonstrating how the men typically had enough funding to remain independent and to follow their own interests. Additionally, the inventors were rarely focused on established theory and mathematics as they wished to go beyond those boundaries. Hughes writes, “Industrial scientists were often constrained to choose problems to solve that would improve and spur the growth of existing systems in which the corporations were heavily invested. The system-originating inventions can be labeled radical, the system-improving ones conservative” (pg. 53).
In examining the early military-industrial complex, Hughes turns to the naval arms race of the early twentieth century. He writes, “As the armaments race proceeded, the United States turned to a much-celebrated resource believed to be uniquely American – the creative genius of its independent inventors” (pg. 99). Hughes continues, “Industrial scientists, well publicized by the corporations that hired them, steadily displaced, in practice and in the public mind, the figure of the heroic inventor as the source of change in the material world. Between the world wars, the industrial laboratories came to be seen as the source of ‘better things for better living’” (pg. 138-139). Looking at this growth, Hughes writes, “Before World War I there were at least one hundred industrial laboratories in the United States; by 1929 there were more than a thousand. By 1920 physicists employed in industrial research laboratories made up a quarter of the membership of the American Physical Society, the leading professional organization” (pg. 180-181).
Turning to system builders, Hughes writes, “They found that a nation committed to mass consumption, freedom of enterprise, and capitalism particularly suited their goal of technological-system building, whether it was socially benign or destructive. Some were motivated by desire for power and money, but they shared a drive to order, centralize, control, and expand the technological systems over which they presided” (pg. 185). In this way, “mass-production and mass-consumption principles permeated the American industrial and social environment about the turn of the century” (pg. 205). Hughes writes, “The United States had never enjoyed greater respect, or been more envied, than after World War I. Many foreign liberals and radicals perceived its examples as opening for their nations a path to the future. Their image of America was one of inventors, industrial scientists, and system builders. Other peoples were fascinated by, and derived from, the example of the creation of modern America” (pg. 249).
In this way, “with the perspective of distance, Europeans perceived the transformation to be more than a technological and an industrial revolution, that it bore the seeds of a cultural mutation as well. European intellectuals, architects, and artists making the second discovery [of America] believed that the United States was leading the world into a uniquely modern era” (pg. 295). Examining the underlying ideology of the Tennessee Valley Authority and the Manhattan Project, Hughes writes, “The overarching logic combining electric power and regional development conveyed in these issues was straightforward: The nature of power use has shaped various eras of modern history. During the era of coal and steam, power transmitted over long distances by rail and distributed for short distances by leather belt resulted in concentrations of industry and population at grimy mines, near grim factories, and at the nexus of rail lines. In the new era, power from electric generating plants at coal mines and at dam sites would be transmitted over long distances by high-voltage electric networks, or grids, and over short ones by lower-voltage systems” (pg. 356).