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In their lively history of medieval technology, the Gies team writes of such advances as the heavy plow, the Gothic flying buttress, linen undergarments, water pumps, and the lateen sail. During the medieval millennium, they suggest, a great technological and social revolution occurred "with the disappearance of mass slavery, the shift to water- and wind-power, the introduction of the open-field system of agriculture, and the importation, adaptation, or invention of an array of devices, from the wheelbarrow to double-entry bookkeeping." Many of those inventions or adaptations, brought into Europe from China and the Middle East, have scarcely been improved on today.
The medieval technological revolution, the authors conclude, came at a cost: much of Europe was deforested to make room for cropland and to fire kilns and furnaces, and mechanization made obsolete many handicraft skills. Yet, they add, the workers and inventors of the Middle Ages "all transformed the world, on balance very much to the world's advantage." --Gregory McNamee
Interesting historical material...learned some new information. I enjoyed it.Published 9 months ago by Ktina
It seems to be one long string of declarative sentences strung together with little sense of organization or theme or style.Published 10 months ago by jack vogt
I am pleased with the level of detail and intellectual integrity of this book. Some books are so short and light on content that they are not worth it. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Hugh S Joslyn
Although I read the first chapter or two before ordering, the reading the book itself seems far drier than I expected. Read morePublished 19 months ago by gusgus