Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction / Edition 2

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Now in its second edition, this bestselling textbook may be the single most influential study of the historical relationship between science and technology ever published. Tracing this relationship from the dawn of civilization through the twentieth century, James E. McClellan III and Harold Dorn argue that technology as "applied science" emerged relatively recently, as industry and governments began funding scientific research that would lead directly to new or improved technologies.

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. They find 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. From this comparative perspective, the authors explore the emergence of Europe and the United States as a scientific and technological power.

The new edition reorganizes its treatment of Greek science and significantly expands its coverage of industrial civilization and contemporary science and technology with new and revised chapters devoted to applied science, the sociology and economics of science, globalization, and the technological systems that underpin everyday life.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews


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.


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.

Technology and Culture

Inclusive and straightforward.

Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d'histoire

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.

Responding to their experience teaching at Stevens Institute of Technology, McClellan and Dorn introduce undergraduates and lay readers to the history of science and technology. Their treatment starts with the first use of tools and treads through agriculture, the classical world, a brief tour of everywhere but Europe, the middle ages, and the industrial revolution to the modern world. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801883606
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 4/15/2006
  • Edition description: second edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 496
  • Sales rank: 239,954
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

James E. McClellan III is professor of the history of science and Harold Dorn is professor emeritus of the history of science and technology at the Stevens Institute of Technology.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

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
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2012

    Not bad

    Had to read this for a college class and it wasnt bad. The writing style is a little annoying to me, but it was still good.

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