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Men, Machines, and Modern Times Paperback – March 15, 1968


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 246 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (March 15, 1968)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262630184
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262630184
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #548,800 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is the most brilliant, original, and absorbing book in American history I have read for some time." Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.

Customer Reviews

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I thought that curious, until I read his book.
"haly2k1"
* In order to make the pattern work, one seeks to eliminate every uncertainty and variable that might disturb the scheme.
A. Richert
A fine read for anyone interested in the art of technology and of engineering history in the U.S.
J. Mastrud

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Newt Gingrich THE on April 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is purely and simply one of the best books ever written on the process of innovation and the interaction of technology, culture, systems, and individual personalities. If you are interested in the process of transformation or the development of technological change then this book should be on your short list. It should be required reading at every senior military school and for anyone who is really interested in transforming the health system.
This slender volume is actually a series of lectures given between 1950 and 1966 at Cal Tech and was influenced by a 15 year process of dialogue in a regular monthly meeting on the subject of technology and society. It reflects the insights and wisdom of a lifetime of thought about people and technology.
For those who care about transforming military institutions the chapters on Lieutenant Sims' reform of naval gunnery in 1900 and on the building of the best steam warship in the world in 1868 are marvels of bureaucracy confronting technology.
Consider just a few insights from Morison:
"It is possible, if one sets aside the long-run social benefits, to look upon invention as a hostile act--a dislocation of existing schemes, a way of disturbing the comfortable bourgeois routines and calculations, a means of discharging the restlessness with arrangements and standards that arbitrarily limit." (p.9)
When Sims reports remarkable success with a new system of gunnery he has learned from an innovative British officer ((Percy Scott) there are three stages of response from Washington:
"At first there was no response. The reports were simply filed away and forgotten.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "haly2k1" on January 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
Elting Morison was a historian .. at MIT. I thought that curious, until I read his book. In a serious of beautifully wirtten historical essays, he traces the development and introduction of revolutionaly new processes or techiniques which profoundly changed the way things were done. But most interesting, and instructive, are the insights he provides as to what must be done to effectively introduce significant changes. For anyone who is frustrated by the time it takes to get things done, and who is interesting in learning how to shorten the process, this is a MUST read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Mastrud on January 19, 2002
Format: Paperback
A superb look at the wonderous and creative spirit that enabled the twentieth century to excel in engineering and science.
The events depicted in the book tell of an age where the industrial revolution was nacent and men brimmed with ideas on how to construct and create a new society for mankind. A fine read for anyone interested in the art of technology and of engineering history in the U.S.
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