High-Speed Dreams: NASA and the Technopolitics of Supersonic Transportation, 1945-1999

High-Speed Dreams: NASA and the Technopolitics of Supersonic Transportation, 1945-1999

by Erik M. Conway
     
 

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Erik M. Conway constructs an insightful history that focuses primarily on the political and commercial factors responsible for the rise and fall of American supersonic transport research programs. Conway charts commercial supersonic research efforts through the changing relationships between international and domestic politicians, government contractors, private

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Overview

Erik M. Conway constructs an insightful history that focuses primarily on the political and commercial factors responsible for the rise and fall of American supersonic transport research programs. Conway charts commercial supersonic research efforts through the changing relationships between international and domestic politicians, government contractors, private investors, and environmentalists. He documents post–World War II efforts at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, NASA, and the Defense Department to generate supersonic flight technologies; European and American attempts to commercialize these technologies during the 1950s and 1960s; environmental campaigns against SST technology in the 1970s; and subsequent attempts to revitalize supersonic technology at the end of the century.

"A concise and thoroughly fascinating history of the train wreck that was the U.S. supersonic civil transport programs."— Air and Space Magazine

"Conway seems to have struck the right balance between the nuts-and-bolts of aircraft design and discussion of larger issues, particularly state support for advanced technology... An original and valuable contribution to the saga of a dream deferred."— Technology and Culture

"Conway does an excellent job of explaining the nationalism inherent in supersonic transport during the Cold War and the domestic American politics surrounding the project."— Isis

"Comprehensive and enjoyable... A cautionary tale of half-baked federal technology and economic policies high-jacking public funds for a concept aircraft that was an engineering boondoggle, a financial black hole, and an environmental fiend."— History and Technology

"[Conway's] examination of the development of supersonic aviation and the various SST programs provides a fascinating internal look at how the technology developed, while also connecting that development with the issue of the larger meaning of technology in society."— Journal of American History

Erik M. Conway serves as historian, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

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Editorial Reviews

Choice

Of interest to historians and social scientists concerned with the politics and economics of public policy... An important book on a fascinating topic.

Air and Space Magazine

A concise and thoroughly fascinating history of the train wreck that was the U.S. supersonic civil transport programs.

Airways

A readable narrative on the interplay between politics, technology, and economics.

Technology and Culture - Virginia P. Dawson

Conway seems to have struck the right balance between the nuts-and-bolts of aircraft design and discussion of larger issues, particularly state support for advanced technology... An original and valuable contribution to the saga of a dream deferred.

Isis - Stephen G. Craft

Conway does an excellent job of explaining the nationalism inherent in supersonic transport during the Cold War and the domestic American politics surrounding the project.

Satellite Evolution Group

A serious academic work... likely to interest historians and those interested in aerospace research.

History and Technology - Thomas Yates

Comprehensive and enjoyable... A cautionary tale of half-baked federal technology and economic policies high-jacking public funds for a concept aircraft that was an engineering boondoggle, a financial black hole and an environmental fiend.

Journal of American History - Andrew Baird

[Conway's] examination of the development of supersonic aviation and the various SST programs provides a fascinating internal look at how the technology developed, while also connecting that development with the issue of the larger meaning of technology in society.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781421410432
Publisher:
Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date:
11/09/2008
Series:
New Series in NASA History
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
392
File size:
4 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

Alex Roland

Impressive and thorough. An important contribution to our understanding of state-supported large-scale technological development in America. It will be of interest to aerospace enthusiasts, historians of technology, and students of public policy.

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