Technology and Choice: Readings from Technology and Culture

Marcel C. LaFollette, Editor, Jeffrey K. Stine, Editor, Jeffery K. Steine, With University of Chicago Press $25 (336p) ISBN 978-0-226-46777-1
This collection of essays, culled from issues of Technology and Culture since 1966, offers academic interpretations of key developments in industrial history, mostly in the U.S. The late John G. Burke explores the movement toward regulation of an industry (in this case the manufacture of steamboat boilers) after explosions killed 2563 people between 1816 and 1848. Also noteworthy is Claude S. Fischer's analysis of telephone use from the late 1880s to 1980, showing how customers adapted what was intended to be a tool for business and functional information into a means of socialization, against the will of the industry. In a pointed article, Christine E. Bose, Philip L. Bereano and Mary Malloy argue that household technology has not reduced the time women spend on housework nor made it more pleasant. Other essays discuss the U.S. government's ambivalence toward technology during the Depression, and unsuccessful attempts at curbing air-pollution in 19th-century Britain. LaFollette is the author of Making Science Our Own: Public Images of Science, 1910-1955 ; Stine is curator of engineering at the National Museum of American History. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 06/17/1991
Release date: 06/01/1991
Hardcover - 336 pages - 978-0-226-46776-4
Prebound-Other - 978-0-613-91115-3
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