Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815

Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815

by Ken Alder
     
 

ISBN-10: 0691009694

ISBN-13: 9780691009698

Pub. Date: 07/19/1999

Publisher: Princeton University Press

The French Revolution and Industrial Revolution together inaugurated the modern era. But recent historical "revisionists" have divorced eighteenth-century material conditions from concurrent political struggles. This book's anti-teleological approach repudiates technological determinism to document the forging of a new relationship between technology and politics in…  See more details below

Overview

The French Revolution and Industrial Revolution together inaugurated the modern era. But recent historical "revisionists" have divorced eighteenth-century material conditions from concurrent political struggles. This book's anti-teleological approach repudiates technological determinism to document the forging of a new relationship between technology and politics in Revolutionary France. It does so through the history of a particular artifact - the gun. Expanding the "political" to include conflict over material objects, Ken Alder rethinks the nature of engineering rationality, the origins of mass production, and our interpretation of the French Revolution.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691009698
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
07/19/1999
Pages:
496
Product dimensions:
6.18(w) x 9.24(h) x 1.04(d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: A Revolution of Engineers?3
Pt. 1Engineering Design: Capital into Coercion, 1763-1793
Ch. 1The Last Argument of the King23
Ch. 2A Social Epistemology of Enlightenment Engineering56
Ch. 3Design and Deployment87
Pt. 2Engineering Production: Coercion into Capital, 1763-1793
Ch. 4The Tools of Practical Reason127
Ch. 5The Saint-Etienne Armory: Musket-Making and the End of the Ancien Regime163
Ch. 6Inventing Interchangeability: Mechanical Ideals, Political Realities221
Pt. 3Engineering Society: Technocracy and Revolution, 1794-1815
Ch. 7The Machine in the Revolution253
Ch. 8Terror, Technocracy: Thermidor292
Ch. 9Technological Amnesia and the Entrepreneurial Order319
Conclusion344
Abbreviations353
Notes355
Bibliography421
Index457

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