Technics and Civilization

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Oct 30, 2010 - History - 495 pages
13 Reviews

Technics and Civilization first presented its compelling history of the machine and critical study of its effects on civilization in 1934—before television, the personal computer, and the Internet even appeared on our periphery.

Drawing upon art, science, philosophy, and the history of culture, Lewis Mumford explained the origin of the machine age and traced its social results, asserting that the development of modern technology had its roots in the Middle Ages rather than the Industrial Revolution. Mumford sagely argued that it was the moral, economic, and political choices we made, not the machines that we used, that determined our then industrially driven economy. Equal parts powerful history and polemic criticism, Technics and Civilization was the first comprehensive attempt in English to portray the development of the machine age over the last thousand years—and to predict the pull the technological still holds over us today.

 “The questions posed in the first paragraph of Technics and Civilization still deserve our attention, nearly three quarters of a century after they were written.”—Journal of Technology and Culture

  

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Review: Technics & Civilization

User Review  - Theresa Macphail - Goodreads

A classic study of the entanglement of technology and society. Dated, of course, but Mumford's text is still provocative for those of us thinking about the intersections of culture and new technologies today. A must-read for anyone working in tech or on tech. Read full review

Review: Technics & Civilization

User Review  - Smoothw - Goodreads

One of the first books to analyze technology as a separate force that influences and shapes civilization. Mumford divides the history of civilization into three phases, the eotechnic, paleotechnic and ... Read full review

Contents

Objectives
3
Cultural Preparation
9
Agents of Mechanization
60
The Eotechnic Phase
107
The Paleotechnic Phase
151
The Neotechnic Phase
212
Compensations and Reversions
268
Assimilation of the Machine
321
Orientation
364
Inventions
437
Bibliography
447
Acknowledgments
475
Index
477
Copyright

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About the author (2010)

Lewis Mumford (1895–1990) was a writer whose scope encompassed literary criticism, architecture, history, urban sociology, and philosophy. The author of over thirty books, he was also the architectural critic for The New Yorker for over thirty years. He was eventually honored with the United States Medal of Freedom and Knight of the Order of the British Empire.

 

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