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From the Publisher"[Smil's] scholarship mocks the boundaries that separate history from economics, geography from technology studies. He is unusually adept at combining his knowledge of how techniques actually work with his ability to illustrate their overall effects on society and the human condition.
The amount of pure learning and erudition that Smil brings to these 700 pages has to be experienced to be believed. In telling the story of modern technology since 1870 in a coherent way these 700 pages totally eclipse the competition."—Joel Mokyr, Departments of Economics and History, Northwestern University
"For readers interested in a good summary of the key technical developments of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, they will find much to value in Smil's book."—American Historical Review