From Library Journal
A warning to those who see technology as having clear and far-reaching consequences in American life: Don't use the telephone as an obvious example. From a user-centered view of technological dispersion, the author argues convincingly that the telephone reinforced social and cultural patterns rather than changed them. Most wealthy and middle-class Americans (and many farmers) adopted the new technology to their own ends prior to World War II--ends not necessarily anticipated or welcomed by industry leaders or technology forecasters. Well researched, with an excellent bibliography and fascinating endnotes, Fischer's study is likely to be a required purchase for comprehensive collections in sociology, business, and the history of technology. It is accessible, however, to a wider audience because of its readability.- Ellen McDermott, NYNEX Corp. Lib., White Plains, N.Y.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"A convincing argument against blaming social disjuncture on any single modern invention." -- Sally S. Eckhoff, Voice Literary Supplement
"Delightful. . . . A thought-provoking, often entertaining book that makes it impossible to take the telephone for granted." -- The Milwaukee Journal
"This book is to be highly recommended for its pioneering approach to the social history of a technology and for its many revisionist conclusions about overworked concepts like modernity and the decline of community." -- Kenneth Lipartito,Journal of Social History