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Rescuing Prometheusby Thomas P Hughes
Synopses & Reviews
In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the dangers posed by the "military-industrial-university complex." His warning became a rallying cry of liberal dissent and, for some, this partnership became the most ominous aspect of what came to be known as the "establishment."
Rescuing Prometheus presents a radically different view of the alliances behind the large-scale technological and scientific undertakings of the post-World War II era. In his analysis of the accomplishments of this coalition, Thomas Hughes shows how aerospace, computing, and communications were revolutionized. He explains how the design and development of four projects in particular led to a new understanding of technology: The SAGE air-defense project fostered the first interactive, digital computer designed for information processing; the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile project inspired a new form of management known as systems engineering; the Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project addressed the complex relations between industry, science, and grassroots community interests; and ARPANET, the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, would not only create the information superhighway but also develop the collegial, meritocratic management style now prevalent in the computer softwa
Rescuing Prometheus is an eye-opening revisionist history of technology in our time.
About the Author
Thomas P. Hughes is Emeritus Mellon Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His books include American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technology. Currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at MIT, he lives in Philadelphia.
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