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For more than thirty years, interdisciplinary history has included the study of all aspects of the family, including births, marriages, and household composition. This collection looks at the many dimensions of the study of populations and population movements. It ranges across continents and time, showing how the reconstruction of the past is incomplete without attention to questions of fertility and seasonality, as well as to the impact of demographic variables on social, political, and economic history.

Since the late 1960s the Internet has grown from a single experimental network serving a dozen sites in the United States to a network of networks linking millions of computers worldwide. In Inventing the Internet, Janet Abbate recounts the key players and technologies that allowed the Internet to develop; but her main focus is always on the social and cultural factors that influenced the Internet's design and use.

Classic Readings with a Contemporary Commentary
Edited by Nick Huggett

A Social History of American Energies

How did the United States become the world's largest consumer of energy? David Nye shows that this is less a question about the development of technology than it is a question about the development of culture. In Consuming Power, Nye uses energy as a touchstone to examine the lives of ordinary people engaged in normal activities. He looks at how these activities changed as new energy systems were constructed, from colonial times to recent years.

Discourses on Modernity, 1900-1939

Starting around 1900, technology became a lively subject for debate among intellectuals, writers, and other opinion leaders. The expansion of the machine into ever more areas of social and economic life had led to a need to interpret its meanings in a more comprehensive way than in the past. World War I and its aftermath shifted the terms of this ongoing debate by underlining both the potential dangers of technology and its centrality to modern life.

The Dilemma of Technological Determinism

These thirteen essays explore a crucial historical question that has been notoriously hard to pin down: To what extent, and by what means, does a society's technology determine its political, social, economic, and cultural forms?

In this insightful and incisive essay, Eugene Ferguson demonstrates that good engineering is as much a matter of intuition and nonverbal thinking as of equations and computation. He argues that a system of engineering education that ignores nonverbal thinking will produce engineers who are dangerously ignorant of the many ways in which the real world differs from the mathematical models constructed in academic minds.

Case Studies in Science and Technology

Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940

How did electricity enter everyday life in America? Using Muncie, Indiana, as a touchstone, David Nye explores how electricity seeped into and redefined American culture. With an eye for telling details and a broad understanding of cultural and social history, he creates a thought-provoking panorama of a technology fundamental to modern life.

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