Technics and Civilization

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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 and Civilization

User Review  - Mark Sacha - Goodreads

Mumford's seminal text on technology begins strong, but after some well-developed insights devolves into odd terminology and inconsistencies in tone. He is at his best in interpreting past ... Read full review

Review: Technics and Civilization

User Review  - Toby Newton - Goodreads

My, my ... simply the best book I have read in ... oh, I don't know, two or three months, but I try to read a lot of good books ... anyhow, this is a peach and a must read. The interesting point for ... 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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