America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings

America as Second Creation: Technology and Narratives of New Beginnings

by David E. Nye

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Overview

An exploration of the dialogue that emerged after 1776 between different visions of what it meant to use new technologies to transform the land.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262140812
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 05/01/2003
Pages: 383
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

David E. Nye is Senior Research Fellow at the Charles Babbage Institute and the History of Science and Technology program at the University of Minnesota and Professor Emeritus of American Studies at the University of Southern Denmark. His other books published by the MIT Press include Electrifying America and American Technological Sublime . He was awarded the Leonardo da Vinci Medal in 2005 and was knighted by the Queen of Denmark in 2013.

What People are Saying About This

Werner Sollors

The axe, the mill, the canal, and the railroad: From the grid to ecofeminism, David Nye's America as Second Creation offers a new, far-ranging, and detail-rich account of the changing technological foundation stories that have accompanied and helped shape US culture, and of the counternarratives that have challenged the dominant ideology.

Denis Cosgrove

America as Second Creation brilliantly reworks Leo Marx's Machine in the Garden thesis in the light of four decades of scholarship on technology, environment, and American culture. David Nye's dissection of America's foundation narratives—and their simultaneously elaborated counter-narratives—is masterly. Log cabin, mill, canal and railroad, irrigation, and river regulation: he shows how each technology has been mythologized to account for the triumph, or disaster, of American social and environmental making. Leo Marx's machine has been reassembled, his garden re-fertilized, their shared story re-energized.

Endorsement

Pathbreaking, richly researched—one cannot read America as Second Creation without seeing our history, and our present-day problems, with fresh eyes. Nye brilliantly deconstructs the long standing American belief that technology, from the humble woodsman's axe and water-powered mill to the transcontinental railroads and gigantic irrigation projects, wrought a 'second creation' and improved on God's original handiwork.

Joseph J. Corn, Department of History, Stanford University

From the Publisher

Pathbreaking, richly researched—one cannot read America as Second Creation without seeing our history, and our present-day problems, with fresh eyes. Nye brilliantly deconstructs the long standing American belief that technology, from the humble woodsman's axe and water-powered mill to the transcontinental railroads and gigantic irrigation projects, wrought a 'second creation' and improved on God's original handiwork.

Joseph J. Corn , Department of History, Stanford University

Joseph J. Corn

Pathbreaking, richly researched—one cannot read America as Second Creation without seeing our history, and our present-day problems, with fresh eyes. Nye brilliantly deconstructs the long standing American belief that technology, from the humble woodsman's axe and water-powered mill to the transcontinental railroads and gigantic irrigation projects, wrought a 'second creation' and improved on God's original handiwork.

John Stilgoe

A superb analysis of cultural icons too often mentioned or cited but almost never analyzed.

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