Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

by Thomas J. Misa
Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present

by Thomas J. Misa

Paperback(third edition)

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Now updated — A comprehensive, 500-year history of technology in society.

Historian Thomas J. Misa's sweeping history of the relationship between technology and society over the past 500 years reveals how technological innovations have shaped—and have been shaped by—the cultures in which they arose. Spanning the preindustrial past, the age of scientific, political, and industrial revolutions, as well as the more recent eras of imperialism, modernism, and global security, this compelling work evaluates what Misa calls "the question of technology."

In this edition, Misa brings his acclaimed text up to date by drawing on current scholarship while retaining sharply drawn portraits of individual people, artifacts, and systems. Each chapter has been honed to relate to contemporary concerns. Globalization, Misa argues, looks differently considering today's virulent nationalism, cultural chauvinism, and trade wars. A new chapter focuses on the digital age from 1990 to 2016. The book also examines how today's unsustainable energy systems, insecure information networks, and vulnerable global shipping have helped foster geopolitical risks and instability and takes a look at the coronavirus pandemic from the perspective of Wuhan, China's high-tech district.

A masterful analysis of how technology and culture have influenced each other over five centuries, Leonardo to the Internet frames a history that illuminates modern-day problems and prospects faced by our technology-dependent world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781421443102
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publication date: 02/22/2022
Series: Johns Hopkins Studies in the History of Technology
Edition description: third edition
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 662,575
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x 1.15(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Thomas J. Misa (LOPEZ ISLAND, WA) is the author or coauthor of many books, including A Nation of Steel: The Making of Modern America, 1865–1925 and FastLane: Managing Science in the Internet World.

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xix

Chapter 1 Technologies of the Court, 1450-1600 1

Chapter 2 Techniques of Commerce, 1588-1740 31

Chapter 3 Geographies of Industry, 1740-1851 57

Chapter 4 Instruments of Empire, 1840-1914 92

Chapter 5 Science and Systems, 1870-1930 122

Chapter 6 Materials of Modernism, 1900-1950 150

Chapter 7 The Means of Destruction, 1933-1990 180

Chapter 8 Promises of Global Culture, 1970-2001 213

Chapter 9 Paths to Insecurity, 2001-2010 247

Chapter 10 Dominance of the Digital, 1990-2016 281

Chapter 11 The Question of Technology 319

Notes 343

Essay on Sources 399

Index 407

What People are Saying About This

Merritt Roe Smith

[Leonardo to the Internet] is well written, accessible, and perceptive. It also has a comparative dimension that sets it apart from others of its genre. In my opinion, it is the first really good book on the theme of technology in western civilization since Kranzberg and Pursell published their pioneering two-volume work in 1967.

Merritt Roe Smith, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harper's Ferry Armory and the New Technology

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