- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
Ships from: Reno, NV
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
Ships from: Chatham, NJ
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
McClellan and Dorn review the historical record beginning with the thinking and tool making of prehistoric humans. Neolithic people, for example, developed metallurgy of a sort, using naturally occurring raw copper, and kept systematic records of the moon's phases. Neolithic craftsmen possessed practical knowledge of the behavior of clay, fire, and other elements of their environment, but though they may have had explanations for the phenomena of their crafts, they toiled without any systematic science of materials or the self-conscious application of theory to practice.
McClellan and Dorn identify two great scientific traditions: the useful sciences, patronized by the state from the dawn of civilization, and scientific theorizing, initiated by the ancient Greeks. Theirs is a survey of the historical twists and turns of these traditions, leading to the science of our own day.
Without neglecting important figures of Western science such as Newton and Einstein, the authors demonstrate the great achievements of non-Westerncultures. They remind us that scientific traditions took root in China, India, and Central and South America, as well as in a series of Near Eastern empires, during late antiquity and the Middle Ages, including the vast region that formed the Islamic conquest. From this comparative perspective, the authors explore the emergence of Europe as a scientific and technological power. Continuing their narrative through the Manhattan Project, NASA, and modern medical research, the authors weave the converging histories of science and technology into an integrated, perceptive, and highly readable narrative.
This historical account achieves its basic aim of demonstrating that, with the exception of quite recent history, technology has always influenced science, not the other way round.
Inclusive and straightforward.
If I could attach bells and whistles and flashing lights to this review I would do so because McClellan and Dorn's book deserves to be brought to the attention of all professional historians—and indeed the general reading public—by any means necessary.
|Introduction : the guiding themes||1|
|Pt. I||From ape to Alexander||3|
|Ch. 1||Humankind emerges : tools and toolmakers||5|
|Ch. 2||The reign of the farmer||17|
|Ch. 3||Pharaohs and engineers||31|
|Ch. 4||Greeks bearing gifts||55|
|Ch. 5||Alexandria and after||79|
|Pt. II||Thinking and doing among the world's peoples||97|
|Ch. 6||The enduring East||99|
|Ch. 7||The middle kingdom||117|
|Ch. 8||Indus, Ganges, and beyond||141|
|Ch. 9||The new world||155|
|Pt. III||Europe and the solar system||175|
|Ch. 10||Plows, stirrups, guns, and plagues||177|
|Ch. 11||Copernicus incites a revolution||203|
|Ch. 12||The crime and punishment of Galileo Galilei||223|
|Ch. 13||"God said, 'let Newton be!'"||249|
|Pt. IV||Science and industrial civilization||275|
|Ch. 14||Timber, coal, cloth, and steam||279|
|Ch. 15||Legacies of revolution||295|
|Ch. 16||Life itself||323|
|Ch. 17||Toolmakers take command||339|
|Ch. 18||The new Aristotelians||365|
|Ch. 19||The bomb and the genome||391|
|Ch. 20||Under today's pharaohs||415|
|Conclusion : the medium of history||437|
Posted April 6, 2012
Posted June 9, 2000
The World History Association has awarded this book its 2000 prize because of its coverage, not only of Western science, but also of regions as far afield as China, the Muslim World, and Pre-Columbian America, as well as ancient times. It provides a basis for comparative study of a marker that many historians use to measure change over time in human societies.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.