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."
Misa brings his acclaimed text up to date by examining how today's unsustainable energy systems, insecure information networks, and vulnerable global shipping have helped foster geopolitical risks and instability. 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.
Praise for the first edition
"Closely reasoned, reflective, and written with insight, grace, and wit, Misa's book takes us on a personal tour of technology and history, seeking to define and analyze paradigmatic techno-cultural eras." -- Technology and Culture
"Follows [Thomas] Hughes's model of combining an engaging historical narrative with deeper lessons about technology." -- American Scholar
"His case studies, such as that of Italian futurism or the localizations of the global McDonalds, provide good starting points for thought and discussion." -- Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"This review cannot do justice to the precision and grace with which Misa analyzes technologies in their social contexts. He convincingly demonstrates the usefulness of his conceptual model." -- History and Technology
"A fascinating, informative, and well-illustrated book." -- Choice
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