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Technology and American Societyby Gary S. Cross
Synopses & Reviews
With a new final chapter covering recent electronic and technological advances, the second edition of Technology and American Society extends coverage of innovations in industry, home, office, agriculture, transport, constructions, and services into the twenty-first century. Offering a global perspective on the development of American technology, the text is structured around a historical narrative detailing major technological transformations over the last three centuries. With coverage devoted to both dramatic breakthroughs and incremental innovations, Technology and American Society analyzes the cause-and-effect relationship of change and its role in the constant drive for improvement and modernization.
In a single volume, this book combines the history of invention and the interactions of technology with social, economic, cultural, and military change throughout the course of American history. It illustrates the gradual shift from the era of individual artisan inventors to emergence of science-based corporate technology, and links the origins and development of American innovation to the global transformation of industry, agriculture, and transportation. For professionals in any industry influenced by technology.
About the Author
Gary Cross is Distinguished Professor of Modern History at Pennsylvania State University, and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in 1977 (Ph.D.). He has published ten books and twenty-three scholarly articles concerning the modern history of social, economic, and technological change in America, Britain, and France. Among his books are A Quest for Time: The Reduction of Work in Britain and France; Time and Money: The Making of Consumer Culture; Kids' Stuff: Toys and the Changing World of American Childhood; An All-Consuming Century: Why Commercialism Won in Modern America; and The Cute and The Cool: Wondrous Innocence and Modern American Children's Culture. These books feature the social and cultural impact of technological and economic change. Since 1981, he has taught an undergraduate course on the history of technology in America. His wife, Maru, and two children, Elena and Alex, have more or less cheerfully accompanied him on trips to numerous museums and heritage sites that feature technology.
Rick Szostak is Professor and Associate Dean of Arts at the University of Alberta, where he has taught since receiving his Ph.D. from Northwestern University in 1985. He is the author of eight books and more than twenty scholarly articles in the fields of the history of technology, economics, and interdisciplinary theory and practice. His books include The Role of Transportation in the Industrial Revolution, which showed how eighteenth-century transport improvements encouraged both the rise of the factory and a dramatic increase in the rate of technological innovation, and Technological Innovation and the Great Depression, which argued that much of that calamity could be attributed to the lack of new product innovation in the decade after 1925, combined with an abundance of labor-saving technology. He has authored articles on technological subjects for the Oxford Encyclopedia of Economic History, Scribner's Dictionary of American History, and the Gale Encyclopedia of the Great Depression. As associate dean, he spearheaded the development of a new major in Science, Technology, and Society at the University of Alberta in 2004. In recent research he explores how the linkages among human science disciplines can be strengthened. His inspiration comes from his wife, Anne-Marie, and their children, Mireille, Julien, and Theodore.
Table of Contents
1. Working the Landin Preindustrial Europe and America.
2. Craftsmen in the Shop: European Traditions and American Changes in the Eighteenth Century.
3. Women and Work before the Factory.
4. Origins of Industrialization.
5. The Birth of the Factory.
6. Iron, Steam, and Rails.
7. Machines and their Mass-Production.
8. Machines on the Farm and in the Forest, 1800-1940.
9. Americans Confront a Mechanical World, 1780-1900.
10. The Second Industrial Revolution.
11. Technology and the Modern Corporation.
12. Technology and the First Arms Race, 1770-1918.
13. The Impact of Technology on Women's Work.
14. The New Factory.
15. Innovation, The Great Depression, and the Automobile, 1918-1940.
16. Mechanizing Sight and Sound.
17. Technology and the Origins of Mass Culture.
18. Airplanes and Atoms in Peace and War.
19. Our Computer Age.
20. Recent Advances in Technology.
21. Modern Americans in a Technological World.
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