A Nation of Steel: The Making of Modern America, 1865-1925 / Edition 1

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Overview

From the age of railroads through the building of the first battleships, from the first skyscrapers to the dawning of the age of the automobile, steelmakers proved central to American industry, building, and transportation. In A Nation of Steel Thomas Misa explores the complex interactions between steelmaking and the rise of the industries that have characterized modern America. A Nation of Steel offers a detailed and fascinating look at an industry that has had a profound impact on American life.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Technology and Culture
This truly outstanding book will become required reading in the history of technology. The story of steel is important in its own right, and Thomas Misa writes with remarkable clarity and succinctness... The emphasis upon user-producer interactions allows Misa to focus on the social significance of technologies and to bring out nuances and contingencies in the development of critical technologies and industries.

— Edwin T. Layton

American Historical Review
Each of Misa's six case studies is fruitful, and together they capture the enormously diverse and complex influences on technological change. Taken as a whole, this study constitutes a massive and successful assault on the neo-classical paradigm... This book will profoundly shape the way scholars understand how technologies 'are not only socially constructed but society-shaping.

— David Bensman

Journal of American History
A brief review can not do justice to the subtlety with which Misa links steelmaking to a larger socioeconomic environment... Based on new information from archival and other primary sources, this well-written, richly textured work greatly expands our knowledge of American industrialization.

— W. David Lewis

Railroad History
A splendid overview of an industry whose fortunes were inextricably intertwined with the railroads... The protions that treat the dynamic interrelations of the steel industry and the railroads clearly stand as the most sophisticated treatment of this complex topic that has yet appeared in print... An immensely rewarding book.

— Robert C. Post

Technology and Society Science
In what will surely become a standard history of steelmaking, Misa integrates that industry's development with the industrial growth of America in the half-century following the Civil War. Involved in the interplay between steel production and the production of America were such developments as the railroads' demand for steel rails following the Civil War, the role of urbanization and especially tall-building construction, the armor plate requirements of the Navy, and the emergence and growth of the automotive industry.
Technology and Culture - Edwin T. Layton
This truly outstanding book will become required reading in the history of technology. The story of steel is important in its own right, and Thomas Misa writes with remarkable clarity and succinctness... The emphasis upon user-producer interactions allows Misa to focus on the social significance of technologies and to bring out nuances and contingencies in the development of critical technologies and industries.
American Historical Review - David Bensman
Each of Misa's six case studies is fruitful, and together they capture the enormously diverse and complex influences on technological change. Taken as a whole, this study constitutes a massive and successful assault on the neo-classical paradigm... This book will profoundly shape the way scholars understand how technologies 'are not only socially constructed but society-shaping.
Journal of American History - W. David Lewis
A brief review can not do justice to the subtlety with which Misa links steelmaking to a larger socioeconomic environment... Based on new information from archival and other primary sources, this well-written, richly textured work greatly expands our knowledge of American industrialization.
Railroad History - Robert C. Post
A splendid overview of an industry whose fortunes were inextricably intertwined with the railroads... The protions that treat the dynamic interrelations of the steel industry and the railroads clearly stand as the most sophisticated treatment of this complex topic that has yet appeared in print... An immensely rewarding book.
Booknews
Misa (history, Illinois Institute of Technology) investigates the dynamics of science, technology, and society in this chronicle of the interactions between steelmaking and the rise of the industries that have characterized modern America. He details the railroad's demand for steel in the 1880s, the politics of steel production for battleships, and the early automobile industry's demand for steel. He discusses technical changes and labor-management relations implicated in the steel industry's decline. Includes b&w photos. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801860522
  • Publisher: Hopkins Fulfillment Service
  • Publication date: 9/8/1998
  • Series: Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology , #7
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 402
  • Sales rank: 819,406
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas J. Misa is at the University of Minnesota, where he directs the Charles Babbage Institute Center for the History of Information Technology, teaches in the graduate program for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, and is a faculty member in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Figures and Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Ch. 1 The Dominance of Rails, 1865-1885 1
Ch. 2 The Structure of Cities, 1880-1900 45
Ch. 3 The Politics of Armor, 1885-1915 91
Ch. 4 The Merger of Steel, 1890-1910 133
Ch. 5 The Reform of Factories, 1895-1915 173
Ch. 6 The Imperative of Automobiles, 1905-1925 211
Ch. 7 The Dynamics of Change 253
List of Abbreviations 283
Notes 287
Index 355
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