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Creating the Twentieth Century Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact

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ISBN-10: 0195168747

ISBN-13: 9780195168747

Edition: 2004

Authors: Vaclav Smil

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Description:

The period between 1867 and 1914 remains the greatest watershed in human history since the emergence of settled agricultural societies: the time when an expansive civilization based on synergy of fuels, science, and technical innovation was born. At its beginnings in the 1870s were dynamite, the telephone, photographic film, and the first light bulbs. Its peak decade - the astonishing 1880s - brought electricity - generating plants, electric motors, steam turbines, the gramophone,cars, aluminum production, air-filled rubber tires, and prestressed concrete. And its post-1900 period saw the first airplanes, tractors, radio signals and plastics, neon lights and assembly line production. This book is a systematic interdisciplinary account of the history of this outpouring ofEuropean and American intellect and of its truly epochal consequences. It takes a close look at four fundamental classes of these epoch-making innovations: formation, diffusion, and standardization of electric systems; invention and rapid adoption of internal combustion engines; the unprecedented pace of new chemical syntheses and material substitutions; and the birth of a new information age. These chapters are followed by an evaluation of the lasting impact these advances had on the 20thcentury, that is, the creation of high-energy societies engaged in mass production aimed at improving standards of living.
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Book details

Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 8/25/2005
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342

Robert Pollin is Professor of Economics and Codirector of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has served as a consultant on energy and the economy for a wide range of organizations and institutions, including the U.S. Department of Energy, the International Labour Organization, the United Nations Industrial Development Program (UNIDO), and numerous non-governmental organizations. He is author of Back to Full Employment (MIT Press), also in the Boston Review series, and Contours of Descent: U.S. Economic Fractures and the Landscape of Austerity.Vaclav Smil is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba. He is the author of more than thirty books, including <I>Harvesting the Biosphere: What We Have Taken from Nature</I> and, most recently, <I>Made in the USA: The Rise and Retreat of American Manufacturing,</I> both published by the MIT Press. In 2010 he was named by <I>Foreign Policy</I> as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2013 Bill Gates wrote on his website that "there is no author whose books I look forward to more than Vaclav Smil."

Units and Abbreviations
The Great Inheritance
The Age of Electricity
Internal Combustion Engines
New Materials and New Syntheses
Communication and Information
A New Civilization
Contemporary Perceptions
References
Name Index
Subject Index