Synopses & Reviews
A comparative history of the cultural impact of technological change in Britian and Germany from 1890 until 1945.
An examination of the obsession for new technology that swept through Britain and Germany between 1890 and 1945. It explains how Germans and Britons nurtured a fascination for aviation, glamorous passenger liners and film as they lived through profound social transformations and two wars. Public discussions about these 'modern wonders' were torn between fears of novel risks and cultural decay on the one hand, and passionate support generated by nationalism and social fantasies on the other. This study will prove invaluable reading to anyone interested in comparative cultural history.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction; 2. 'Modern Wonders': technological innovation and public ambivalence; 3. Accidents: the physical risks of technology; 4. Elusive illusions: the cultural and political properties of film; 5. Pilots as popular heroes: risk, gender and the aeroplane; 6. 'Floating palaces': passenger liners as objects of pleasure; 7. Fantasy as social practice: the rise of amateur film; 8. Technology and the nation in Britain and Germany; 9. Conclusion; Bibliography.