In Medieval Technology and Social Change
, Lynn White considers the effects of technological innovation on the societies of medieval Europe: the slow collapse of feudalism with the development of machines and tools that introduced factories in place of cottage industries, and the development of the manorial system with the introduction of new kinds of plows and new methods of crop rotation. One invention of particular import, writes White, was the stirrup, which in turn introduced heavy, long-range cavalry to the medieval battlefield. The development thus escalated small-scale conflict to "shock combat." Cannons and flamethrowers followed, as did more peaceful inventions, such as watermills and reapers.
"Excellent."--Louis P. Towles, Central Wesleyan College
"The most stimulating book of the century on the history of technology...a positive delight."--Isis
"At once an advance in the study of medieval technology and also the best introduction to the subject for the serious general reader."--The Economist
"Still essential reading for students of Medieval studies. A must for those interested in Medieval technology and its impact on the development of western society."--Cecile-Marie Sastre, Flagler College