Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)

4.33 avg rating
( 9 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780691140322: Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi (Princeton Studies in Cultural Sociology)


The Canal du Midi, which threads through southwestern France and links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was an astonishing feat of seventeenth-century engineering--in fact, it was technically impossible according to the standards of its day. Impossible Engineering takes an insightful and entertaining look at the mystery of its success as well as the canal's surprising political significance. The waterway was a marvel that connected modern state power to human control of nature just as surely as it linked the ocean to the sea.


The Canal du Midi is typically characterized as the achievement of Pierre-Paul Riquet, a tax farmer and entrepreneur for the canal. Yet Chandra Mukerji argues that it was a product of collective intelligence, depending on peasant women and artisans--unrecognized heirs to Roman traditions of engineering--who came to labor on the waterway in collaboration with military and academic supervisors. Ironically, while Louis XIV and his treasury minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert used propaganda to present France as a new Rome, the Canal du Midi was being constructed with unrecognized classical methods. Still, the result was politically potent. As Mukerji shows, the project took land and power from local nobles, using water itself as a silent agent of the state to disrupt traditions of local life that had served regional elites.



Impossible Engineering opens a surprising window into the world of seventeenth-century France and illuminates a singular work of engineering undertaken to empower the state through technical conquest of nature.


"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap:


"Impossible Engineering is a masterful work. Mukerji gives us a convincing, original explanation of the baffling technological feat of the construction of the Canal du Midi. She elegantly combines science and technology studies, cultural history, cognitive science, and sociology to show us how cultural memory and collective intelligence contributed to marvels of engineering that no single group of experts could have accomplished. A must-read."--Karin Knorr Cetina, University of Chicago


"Mukerji brings phenomenal scope and originality to the story of the Canal du Midi. Demonstrating how a material object can be the result of collective social intelligence, she provides a model for how to write a new kind of history of science and technology. She brings together material and intellectual history and connects, in an exemplary way, the history of material objects to the development of new patterns of thought and social organization."--Pamela H. Smith, Columbia University


"Impossible Engineering offers a fascinating account of the planning, construction, and interpretation of a major public-works project in seventeenth-century France. Mukerji stresses the participation of many people who have often have been written out of this story, especially the peasant workforce, which included a significant contingent of women. She also raises large general issues about the modes and limitations of human interaction with the natural world. I read this book with great pleasure."--Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


"Drawing on a vast array of original archival data, Impossible Engineering offers an elegant and original analysis of a feat of engineering, the construction of the Canal du Midi. Mukerji weaves various strands of the story with impressive dexterity to produce an account that is undoubtedly that of a scholar at the top of her game. This is a fascinating and theoretically significant study."--Michle Lamont, Harvard University


About the Author:

Chandra Mukerji is professor of communication and science studies at the University of California, San Diego. She is the author of "Territorial Ambitions and the Gardens of Versailles, A Fragile Power: Scientists and the State" (Princeton), and "From Graven Images: Patterns of Modern Materialism".

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Buy New View Book
List Price: US$ 45.00
US$ 36.49

Convert Currency

Shipping: US$ 11.54
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.

Destination, Rates & Speeds

Add to Basket

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Chandra Mukerji
Published by Princeton University Press (2009)
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Quantity Available: 16
Seller
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2009. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # WP-9780691140322

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 36.49
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 11.54
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Chandra Mukerji
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 163 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Canal du Midi, which threads through southwestern France and links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was an astonishing feat of seventeenth-century engineering--in fact, it was technically impossible according to the standards of its day. Impossible Engineering takes an insightful and entertaining look at the mystery of its success as well as the canal s surprising political significance. The waterway was a marvel that connected modern state power to human control of nature just as surely as it linked the ocean to the sea. The Canal du Midi is typically characterized as the achievement of Pierre-Paul Riquet, a tax farmer and entrepreneur for the canal. Yet Chandra Mukerji argues that it was a product of collective intelligence, depending on peasant women and artisans--unrecognized heirs to Roman traditions of engineering--who came to labor on the waterway in collaboration with military and academic supervisors. Ironically, while Louis XIV and his treasury minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert used propaganda to present France as a new Rome, the Canal du Midi was being constructed with unrecognized classical methods. Still, the result was politically potent. As Mukerji shows, the project took land and power from local nobles, using water itself as a silent agent of the state to disrupt traditions of local life that had served regional elites. Impossible Engineering opens a surprising window into the world of seventeenth-century France and illuminates a singular work of engineering undertaken to empower the state through technical conquest of nature. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691140322

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 48.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Chandra Mukerji
Published by Princeton University Press, United States (2009)
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: New. 236 x 163 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Canal du Midi, which threads through southwestern France and links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was an astonishing feat of seventeenth-century engineering--in fact, it was technically impossible according to the standards of its day. Impossible Engineering takes an insightful and entertaining look at the mystery of its success as well as the canal s surprising political significance. The waterway was a marvel that connected modern state power to human control of nature just as surely as it linked the ocean to the sea. The Canal du Midi is typically characterized as the achievement of Pierre-Paul Riquet, a tax farmer and entrepreneur for the canal. Yet Chandra Mukerji argues that it was a product of collective intelligence, depending on peasant women and artisans--unrecognized heirs to Roman traditions of engineering--who came to labor on the waterway in collaboration with military and academic supervisors. Ironically, while Louis XIV and his treasury minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert used propaganda to present France as a new Rome, the Canal du Midi was being constructed with unrecognized classical methods. Still, the result was politically potent. As Mukerji shows, the project took land and power from local nobles, using water itself as a silent agent of the state to disrupt traditions of local life that had served regional elites. Impossible Engineering opens a surprising window into the world of seventeenth-century France and illuminates a singular work of engineering undertaken to empower the state through technical conquest of nature. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780691140322

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 49.95
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Chandra Mukerji
Published by Princeton University Press (2009)
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0691140324

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 49.60
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Chandra Mukerji
Published by Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 16
Seller
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press. Hardback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Impossible Engineering: Technology and Territoriality on the Canal du Midi, Chandra Mukerji, The Canal du Midi, which threads through southwestern France and links the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, was an astonishing feat of seventeenth-century engineering--in fact, it was technically impossible according to the standards of its day. Impossible Engineering takes an insightful and entertaining look at the mystery of its success as well as the canal's surprising political significance. The waterway was a marvel that connected modern state power to human control of nature just as surely as it linked the ocean to the sea. The Canal du Midi is typically characterized as the achievement of Pierre-Paul Riquet, a tax farmer and entrepreneur for the canal. Yet Chandra Mukerji argues that it was a product of collective intelligence, depending on peasant women and artisans--unrecognized heirs to Roman traditions of engineering--who came to labor on the waterway in collaboration with military and academic supervisors. Ironically, while Louis XIV and his treasury minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert used propaganda to present France as a new Rome, the Canal du Midi was being constructed with unrecognized classical methods. Still, the result was politically potent. As Mukerji shows, the project took land and power from local nobles, using water itself as a silent agent of the state to disrupt traditions of local life that had served regional elites. Impossible Engineering opens a surprising window into the world of seventeenth-century France and illuminates a singular work of engineering undertaken to empower the state through technical conquest of nature. Bookseller Inventory # B9780691140322

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 51.45
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.62
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Mukerji, Chandra
Published by Princeton University Press (2009)
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0691140324

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 60.35
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Mukerji, Chandra
Published by Princeton University Press (2009)
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110691140324

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 66.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

MUKERJI
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Herb Tandree Philosophy Books
(Stroud, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2009. Hardback. Book Condition: NEW. 9780691140322 This listing is a new book, a title currently in-print which we order directly and immediately from the publisher. Bookseller Inventory # HTANDREE01146258

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.38
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 10.26
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Mukerji, Chandra
Published by Princeton Univ Pr (2009)
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 2
Seller
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton Univ Pr, 2009. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 352 pages. 9.30x6.40x1.10 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0691140324

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 65.33
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 7.69
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Mukerji, Chandra
Published by Princeton University Press
ISBN 10: 0691140324 ISBN 13: 9780691140322
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Cloud 9 Books
(West Palm Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0691140324 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW6.0354501

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 70.00
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book