American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm

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9780140097412: American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm

This riveting story of America's love affair with technology provides remarkable portraits of the lives and times of the early inventors--Edison, Bell, the Wright brothers, and charts the changing modes of invention from the age of independent innovation to today's corporate research labs and vast technological systems. This is the powerful and dramatic tale of our nation's incessant impulse to invent and discover, and of our complex relationship with the fruits of this impulse--a relationship that finds us liberated, dependent, enthusiastic, and skeptical all at once.

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From the Inside Flap:

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. Unlike other histories of technology, which focus on particular inventions like the light bulb or the automobile, American Genesis makes these inventions characters in a broad chronicle, both shaped by and shaping a culture. By weaving scientific and technological advancement into other cultural trends, Hughes demonstrates here the myriad ways in which the two are inexorably linked, and in a new preface, he recounts his earlier missteps in predicting the future of technology and follows its move into the information age.

About the Author:

Thomas P. Hughes is the Professor Emeritus in the Department of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The recipient of a Guggenheim fellowship and a member of the American Philosophical doctorates from Northwestern University and the Swedish Royal Institute of Technology. A member of the Swedish Royal Academy of Engineering Sciences and the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, he is the editor of seven books and author of four, including American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technological Enthusiasm, 1870-1970, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

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