The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900

Paperback | September 12, 2011

byDavid Edgerton

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From the books of H.G. Wells to the press releases of NASA, we are awash in cliched claims about high technology's ability to change the course of history. Now, in The Shock of the Old, David Edgerton offers a startling new and fresh way of thinking about the history of technology, radicallyrevising our ideas about the interaction of technology and society in the past and in the present. He challenges us to view the history of technology in terms of what everyday people have actually used - and continue to use - rather than just sophisticated inventions. Indeed, many highly touted technologies, from the V-2 rocket to the Concorde jet, have been costly failures, while many mundane discoveries, like corrugated iron, become hugely important around the world. Edgerton reassesses the significance of such acclaimed inventions as the Pill and informationtechnology, and underscores the continued importance of unheralded technology, debunking many notions about the implications of the "information age." A provocative history, The Shock of the Old provides an entirely new way of looking historically at the relationship between invention andinnovation.

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From the books of H.G. Wells to the press releases of NASA, we are awash in cliched claims about high technology's ability to change the course of history. Now, in The Shock of the Old, David Edgerton offers a startling new and fresh way of thinking about the history of technology, radicallyrevising our ideas about the interaction of t...

David Edgerton is the Hans Rausing Professor at Imperial College, London, where he was the founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 6.1 × 9.21 × 0.59 inPublished:September 12, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199832617

ISBN - 13:9780199832613

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Significance2. Time3. Production4. Maintenance5. Nations6. War7. Killing8. InventionConclusionNotesSelected BibliographyAcknowledgementsList of IllustrationsIndex