From Library Journal
Despite the double-entendre in its title, this work focuses less on the history of America's consumption of energy than on its sheer consumption, conspicuous and incorrigible. Nye (American studies, Odense Univ., Denmark; American Technological Sublime, LJ 11/1/94) attempts to examine how the development of energy systems within America's unique culture, within a complex set of social constructions, caused the United States to become the "greatest power-consuming nation in history." His rambling and tentative work moves awkwardly from the painfully mundane, such as the type of shoes people wore, to the painfully abstruse: "Possessing a new way to move through the world creates tacit dynamic and perceptual knowledge, thus expanding the potential for experience." Lacking serious discussion of BTUs and horsepower, it is largely a hodgepodge of technology, commerce, and labor, a better treatment of which can be found in any standard history text. Not recommended.?Robert C. Ballou, Atlanta
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
This survey is compellingly written, making intelligent use of entertaining anecdotes, apt but unfamiliar quotations, and concrete details of everyday life -- all in the service of innovative general arguments.
(Jeffrey L. Meikle
, Director, American Studies Program, University of Texas at Austin; author of American Plastic: A Cultural History