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Technologies of Power: Essays in Honor of Thomas Parke Hughes and Agatha Chipley Hughes

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Overview

This collection explores how technologies become forms of power, how people embed their authority in technological systems, and how the machines and the knowledge that make up technical systems strengthen or reshape social, political,
and cultural power. The authors suggest ways in which a more nuanced investigation of technology's complex history can enrich our understanding of the changing meanings of modernity. They consider the relationship among the state, expertise,
and authority; the construction of national identity; changes in the structure and distribution of labor; political ideology and industrial development; and political practices during the Cold War. The essays show how insight into the technological aspects of such broad processes can help synthesize material and cultural methods of inquiry and how reframing technology's past in broader historical terms can suggest new directions for science and technology studies.The essays were written in honor of Thomas Parke Hughes and Agatha Chipley Hughes, whose spirit of inquiry they seek to continue.Contributors Janet Abbate, Michael Thad Allen, W. Bernard Carlson,
Gabrielle Hecht, Erik P. Rau, Eric Schatzberg, Amy Slaton, John Staudenmaier, Edmund
N. Todd, Hans Weinberger.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...[A] tribute to two fascinating people, and it also stands in its own right as a primer for its field...." Rob Parsons First Monday

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262511247
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 5/25/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 361
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Michael Thad Allen is Assistant Professor of History, Technology, and Society at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Gabrielle Hecht is Professor of History at the University of Michigan. She is the author of The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after
World War II
(MIT Press).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Disciplined Imagination: The Life and Work of Tom and Agatha Hughes
Introduction: Authority, Political Machines, and Technology's History 1
The Telephone as Political Instrument: Gardiner Hubbard and the Formation of the Middle Class in America, 1875-1880 25
Culture and Technology in the City: Opposition to Mechanized Street Transportation in Late-Nineteenth-Century America 57
The Hidden Lives of Standards: Technical Prescriptions and the Transformation of Work in America 95
Engineering Politics, Technological Fundamentalism, and German Power Technology, 1900-1936 145
Modernity, the Holocaust, and Machines without History 175
Technological Systems, Expertise, and Policy Making: The British Origins of Operational Research 215
Technology, Politics, and National Identity in France 253
The Neutrality Flagpole: Swedish Neutrality Policy and Technological Alliances, 1945-1970 295
About the Authors 333
Index 337
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