Download A Culture of Improvement: Technology and the Western by Robert Friedel PDF

By Robert Friedel

Why does expertise switch through the years, how does it swap, and what distinction does it make? during this sweeping, formidable examine one thousand years of Western adventure, Robert Friedel argues that technological switch comes mostly throughout the pursuit of development -- the deep-rooted trust that issues can be performed in a greater means. What Friedel calls the "culture of development" is manifested each day within the methods humans perform their projects in existence -- from tilling fields and elevating teenagers to waging war.Improvements will be ephemeral or lasting, and one person's development would possibly not continuously be seen as such via others. Friedel stresses the social tactics during which we outline what advancements are and judge which advancements will final and with a purpose to no longer. those procedures, he emphasizes, have created either winners and losers in history.Friedel offers a chain of narratives of Western expertise that start within the 11th century and stretch into the twenty-first. commonly used figures from the heritage of invention are joined by way of others -- the Italian preacher who defined the 1st eyeglasses, the dairywomen displaced from their keep watch over over cheesemaking, and the little-known engineer who first urged a grand tower to Gustav Eiffel. Friedel strains expertise from the plow and the printing press to the interior combustion engine, the transistor, and the distance commute. Friedel additionally reminds us that religion in development can occasionally have terrible effects, as greater weaponry makes war ever extra lethal and the force for bettering people may end up in eugenics or even genocide. the main accomplished try to inform the tale of Western know-how in lots of years, engagingly written and lavishly illustrated, A tradition of development documents the ways that the force for development has formed our glossy world.

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