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Leonardo to the Internet: Technology & Culture from the Renaissance to the Present (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 31 ago 2011

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Descrizione prodotto


A powerful pick for any library interested in a scholarly yet lively survey of connections between science and culture.

(Midwest Book Review)

An engaging and worthy study of the interaction of technology and culture over the last 560 years... Misa's excellent study can contribute much to such critical circumspection regarding technology, human reason and choices, and the purposes and possibilities of human thriving and communal life.

(Bruce N. Lundberg Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies)


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)

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)

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)

A fascinating, informative, and well-illustrated book.


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Le recensioni clienti più utili su (beta) (Potrebbero essere presenti recensioni del programma "Early Reviewer Rewards") 3.3 su 5 stelle 6 recensioni
1 di 2 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Four Stars 4 maggio 2015
Di Rich Morrison - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
textbook for a class; a bit dry, but solid info
3 di 5 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle better than i expected 22 maggio 2012
Di ehhh??? - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
while i wasn't expecting it was a class requirement, it turned out to be a really interesting book. good job misa. the book had plenty of smaller details and focused primarily on the technology of the time. I can say that i did enjoy reading this book and will probably reread at some point in personal interest as I was reading maybe only 60-70% of the chapter's content, like i say school requirement, didn't really have the time to read intensely.
2 di 5 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
4.0 su 5 stelle Needed it for a history class 26 agosto 2013
Di Andrew M - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina flessibile Acquisto verificato
This book is actually really interesting. I enjoyed writing a paper about it, one of the few textbooks I actually read start to finish.
22 di 23 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
5.0 su 5 stelle Broad and compelling review of technology in history 5 ottobre 2005
Di F. Orion Pozo - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida
LEONARDO TO THE INTERNET takes a broad historic look at the defining technologies of eight different eras between the 15th century and today. The author, Thomas Misa, is a professor in the Department of Humanities at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago. He looks at the relationship between technology and the various cultures of these periods and shows that "technology is not only a force for but also a product of social and cultural change."

In the first chapter, "Technologies of the Court," he looks at the court engineers, including Leonardo da Vinci, the invention of perspective in painting, and the Gutenberg printing press to show how these technologies were used, not for economic gain, but to support the royal courts and city-states of the Renaissance era.

The second chapter is entitled "Techniques of Commerce" and looks at the period from 1588 to 1740 when Dutch merchants amassed fortunes using technologies like herring fishing boat factories, windmills, and fine textiles manufacture and developed an international trade second to none. They used their wealth to support fine artists and to speculate in tulip bulbs.

"Geographies of Industry" is the third chapter and it covers the period from 1740 to 1851, the time of the Industrial Revolution in England. Rather than looking at the cities normally considered the homes of industry in this period, Misa takes a close look at industry in London, using beer brewing as his focus. He then compares London to Manchester's textiles industry and Sheffield steel manufacture. He does this to create a much more complex image of the Industrial Revolution, and to show that there were many paths to industrialization in the period.

1840 to 1914 is the subject of "Instruments of Empire," the fourth chapter. Here Misa looks at how British Imperialism and the technologies of railroads, steamships, and telegraphy interacted to create a world-spanning empire.

Chapter five, Science and Systems, covers a second industrial revolution that took place between 1870 and 1930. Here the German science-based chemical industry developed a synthetic-chemical empire based originally on fabric dyes. Also science and technological research became an integral part of industry, driving out the independent inventors of earlier times. The author also looks to America's electric lighting struggle between direct and alternating current systems. Out of these developments came modern German companies like IG Farben, BASF, Bayer, and AGFA, as well as the American firms of Westinghouse and General Electric. Misa also looks at the beginning of university industrial partnerships with the development of the MIT labs.

The first half of the 20th century is the focus of chapter six, "Materials of Modernism." Here the Italian Futurists, the German Bauhaus, and the Dutch Modernists take the modern materials of steel and glass to redefine architecture and aesthetic theories.

"The Means of Destruction," chapter seven, looks at the relationship between the military and technological innovation in the 20th century. Misa calls World War II a "war of innovation" and looks closely at the atomic programs on both sides of the war as an example of how this relationship developed. The author shows that after the war this military-technology relationship still held sway. He uses the examples of the development of solid-state electronics and digital computers to illustrate this.

In chapter 8, "Toward a Global Culture," the author shows how Globalization was the major trend in last 30 years of the 20th century. He uses the development of the international standards that made the fax machine an everyday commodity as a case study of how this happened. Then he turns his attention to the world-wide food chain McDonald's to show how culture and technology give and take together in globalization. He then ends up with a discussion of the global Internet culture, but with a nod back to the previous chapter as he shows the military influences that developed the Internet.

He ends up with a summary chapter called "The Question of Technology" where he discusses the dynamics between Science, Economics, Culture, and Change. It is here that Misa points out that the relationship between Technology and Society is a constant give and take. There is a sad note to this summation as he states that he feels the attacks of September 11, 2001 signalled an end to this era. He states that the reactions to these attacks do not fit a pattern of globalization, and goes on to say that the "vision of a peaceful world, economically integrated and culturally harmonious, knitted together by information technology, is dead." He looks forward to a new era where reformers, social movements and groups of citizens embrace technological solutions to shape a new future.
0 di 11 persone hanno trovato utile la seguente recensione
1.0 su 5 stelle hate it 5 luglio 2013
Di Christina - Pubblicato su
Formato: Copertina rigida Acquisto verificato
Such a poorly written and hard to follow book. The author must be incredibly boring in person. Professors, please don't subject your students to this torture!