New PDF release: A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western

By Robert Friedel

ISBN-10: 0262062623

ISBN-13: 9780262062626

ISBN-10: 026251401X

ISBN-13: 9780262514019

Why does know-how swap through the years, how does it swap, and what distinction does it make? during this sweeping, bold examine one thousand years of Western event, Robert Friedel argues that technological switch comes principally during the pursuit of development -- the deep-rooted trust that issues might be performed in a greater manner. What Friedel calls the "culture of development" is manifested each day within the methods humans perform their initiatives in existence -- from tilling fields and elevating childrens to waging war.Improvements will be ephemeral or lasting, and one person's development won't continuously be considered as such via others. Friedel stresses the social procedures through which we outline what advancements are and judge which advancements will final and with a view to now not. those methods, he emphasizes, have created either winners and losers in history.Friedel provides a chain of narratives of Western know-how that start within the 11th century and stretch into the twenty-first. commonly used figures from the heritage of invention are joined via others -- the Italian preacher who defined the 1st eyeglasses, the dairywomen displaced from their regulate over cheesemaking, and the little-known engineer who first urged a grand tower to Gustav Eiffel. Friedel lines expertise from the plow and the printing press to the interior combustion engine, the transistor, and the gap trip. Friedel additionally reminds us that religion in development can occasionally have awful effects, as more desirable weaponry makes battle ever extra lethal and the force for bettering people may end up in eugenics or even genocide. the main entire try and inform the tale of Western expertise in lots of years, engagingly written and lavishly illustrated, A tradition of development documents the ways that the force for development has formed our sleek world.

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A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western Millennium (MIT Press) by Robert Friedel


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