Wiring the World: The Social and Cultural Creation of Global Telegraph Networks

Hardcover | April 12, 2016

bySimone M. Müller

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The successful laying of a transatlantic cable in 1866 remade world communications. A message could travel across the ocean in minutes, shrinking the space between continents, cultures, and nations. An eclectic group of engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians, and media visionaries then developed this technology into a telecommunications system that spread a particular vision of civilization-but not everyone wanted to wire the world the same way.

Wiring the World is a cultural and social history that explores how the large Anglo-American cable companies won out over alternative visions. Bitter rivalries emerged over telegram prices, visions for world peace, scientific innovation, and the role of the nation-state. Such struggles determined the growth of cable technology, which in turn influenced world history. Filled with fascinating characters and new insights into pivotal events, Wiring the World traces globalization's diverse paths and close ties to business and politics.

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The successful laying of a transatlantic cable in 1866 remade world communications. A message could travel across the ocean in minutes, shrinking the space between continents, cultures, and nations. An eclectic group of engineers, entrepreneurs, politicians, and media visionaries then developed this technology into a telecommunication...

Simone M. Müller is Project Director & Principal Investigator at DFG-Emmy Noether Research Group "Hazardous Travels. Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy."

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:April 12, 2016Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231174322

ISBN - 13:9780231174329

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsIntroduction: The Class of 18661. Networking the Atlantic2. The Battle for Cable Supremacy3. The Imagined Globe4. Weltcommunication5. The Professionalization of the Telegraph Engineer6. Cable Diplomacy and Imperial Control7. The Wiring of the WorldAppendix: Actors of GlobalizationNotesBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

Based on voluminous research, and written in a clear and accessible fashion, Wiring the World is a notable contribution to the history of globalization and technology.