Totalitarian Science and Technology / Edition 2

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Overview

What impact does politics have on the practice of scientists and engineers? In Totalitarian Science and Technology, Paul Josephson considers how physicists, biologists, and engineers have fared in totalitarian regimes. Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin relied on scientists and engineers to build the infrastructure of their states. The military power of their regimes was largely based on the discovery of physicists and biologists. They sought to use biology to transform nature, including their citizens, with murderous effect in Nazi Germany. They expected scientists to devote themselves entirely to the goals of the state, and were intolerant of deviation from state-sponsored programs and ideology. As a result, physicists, biologists, and engineers suffered from the consequences of ideological interference in their work. Many lost their jobs; others were arrested and disappeared in prisons. In physics, this meant rejection of the theory of relativity, in biology in the USSR, the rejection of modern-day genetics.

In this revised edition of Totalitarian Science and Technology, Josephson has included analysis of science and technology in such authoritarian regimes as North Korea, the People’s Republic of China, and Cuba. He argues that politics plays an important role in shaping research and development in all countries, but nowhere with greater risk to citizens and the environment than in closed political systems.

Students of European, Chinese, and Russian history, history of science and technology, and environmental history will find provocative and informative discussions in this book.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
". . . penetrating book by renowned historian Josephson." -Choice

"Paul Josephson demonstrates yet again his talent for investigating and describing the relationship between science and ideology in totalitarian systems.... a must read. For college courses on the relationship between politics and science, Josephson’s book should be required reading."

Michael Bressler
Associate Professor of Political Science, Furman University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591023210
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 4/22/2005
  • Series: Control of Nature Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 150
  • Sales rank: 1,218,573
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Josephson is the author of five other books, including Resources Under Regimes, Industrialized Nature, Red Atom, and New Atlantis Revisited: The Siberian City of Science.
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Table of Contents

Series Editors' Preface
Acknowledgments
l Totalitarian Science 1
2 Transformationist Visions: The Biological Sciences in Totalitarian Regimes 15
3 The Physical Sciences under Totalitarian Regimes: The Ideologization of Science 39
4 Technology and Politics in Totalitarian Regimes 75
5 Conclusion: Totalitarian Science? 108
Bibliography 111
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