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Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies Paperback – February 26, 1999

ISBN-13: 978-0262640381 ISBN-10: 0262640384

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (February 26, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262640384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262640381
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #909,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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.

Review

"This survey is compellingly written, making intelligent use ofentertaining anecdotes, apt but unfamiliar quotations, and concrete detailsof everyday life—all in the service of innovative general arguments." Jeffrey L. Meikle , Director, American Studies Program, University of Texasat Austin; author of American Plastic: A Cultural History


More About the Author

David E. Nye's publications focus on technology and American society. He was born in Boston but spent his childhood in rural Pennsylvania. He was educated at Amherst College and the University of Minnesota. He has taught in both the United States and Europe, and he has lectured in every western European country. Author or editor of 20 books, he has won grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Leverhulme Foundation, and national research councils in Denmark and Holland. He has appeared on NOVA, the BBC, and Danish television, and has been a visiting scholar at the universities of Cambridge, Leeds, Harvard, MIT, Warwick, Oviedo, and Notre Dame. In 2005 he received the Leonardo da Vinci Medal, the lifetime achievement award and highest honor of the Society for the History of Technology. His most recent book, America's Assembly Line, will appear with MIT Press in 2013.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Joy loves books on December 15, 1999
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was fascinating. I have been doing research on energy for a long time and this is one of the best books I have read. Nye examines the role that energy use has played in American society -- an important relationship that energy analysts have generally ignored. The book is very readable and well-researched, and always interesting.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Douglas W Rae on September 26, 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a fabulous piece of social history -- deeply researched, insightful, and utterly lucid. It is among the best university-press books I can remember reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Semper Grumpy on January 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Rating the first book one has read on a subject is always a speculative venture one has nothing to compare it with. That said, Consuming Power is a very engaging read and covers a wide range of technical and social issues that gave rise to power systems in the US, contrasting our choices with the UK to make the case that, indeed, our systems WERE choices. The later chapters in the book are not without a bias regarding the current debate over human induced climate change, but the presentation is forthright; one can choose to agree with the author or not. This is a good read, and the copious footnotes provide ample information for additional acquisitions.
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By smgtech on July 8, 2014
Format: Paperback
Intereseting book had to have it for class. Shipped as expected.
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