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Science and Technology in World History: An Introduction Paperback – April 14, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0801883606 ISBN-10: 0801883601 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; 2nd edition (April 14, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801883601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801883606
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,768 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

This historical account achieves its basic aim of demonstrating that, with the exception of quite recent history, technology has always influenced science, not the other way round.

(Nature)

If I could attach bells and whistles and flashing lights to this review I would do so because McClellan and Dorn's book deserves to be brought to the attention of all professional historians—and indeed the general reading public—by any means necessary.

(Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d'histoire)

Inclusive and straightforward.

(Technology and Culture)

This is one of few books that tackle both the history of science and the history of technology, and most notably presents them in a global context.

(Suzanne Moon, Colorado School of Mines)

This unusual work enables students to understand some large-scale patterns in history and the ways in which investigations into nature fit into those patterns.

(Barbara J. Reeves, Virginia Tech)

Review

"Professors McClellan and Dorn have written a survey that does not present the historical development of science simply as a Western phenomenon but as the result of wide-ranging human curiosity about nature and attempts to harness its powers in order to serve human needs. This is an impressive amount of material to organize in a single textbook." -- Paula Findlen, Stanford University

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This is a great introduction for an undergraduate level class on the history of sci/tech/med.
e
I do wish some maps--or at least one--would be included to introduce the reader to some of these regions.
K. Richardson
I would definitely recommend this book for an overview of science and technology in world history.
Freyja's Books

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 49 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an ambitious study of human history through its scientific and technological development. It begins with prehistoric times and ends with the many accomplishments of the late twentieth century. No area of the world is neglected, with much attention paid to the great civilizations of Asia in particular. There are also many mini-biographies of such worthies as Copernicus, Newton, Galileo, Edison, etc. which place them in the context of their time and the overall theme of technological development. The book is scholarly but not dry. Attempts have been made to appeal to the laymen through notes on "Cool Websites" and the like, and this is successful. Its a good overview of world history from a less than usual angle.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful By David A. Chappell on May 1, 2000
Format: Paperback
The World History Association has awarded its annual book prize to this work, because it clearly addressed science and technology from a global perspective. Not only Western science is covered, but also in the ancient and medieval periods, northeast Africa, southwest Asia, other parts of Asia and the precolumbian Americas. It thus provides a point of departure for comparative analysis of the markers that many archaeologists and historians use to measure change over time in the human past.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Millevolte on January 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
I agree with the previous reviewers on their accessment of the book--with the exception of the very last part of it. In fact, the chapter on modern physics has so many mistakes that it is almost rendered unusable, which is odd because the quality of the rest of the book is so high.
I wouldn't expect that two authors would be able to pull off what they have tried to do here (with such a breadth of material), but I believe that if they invite a guest author (or editor) to help with the chapter on the history of modern physics they will be fully successful in a subsequent edition.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By David A. Chappell on May 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
The World History Association is pleased to award this book its 1999 prize, because it is a quality work of history from a global perspective. Not only the West is covered, but also, especially in the ancient and medieval periods, science in northeast Africa, southwest Asia, other parts of Asia, and the precolombian Americas. It provides a point of departure, then, for comparative analysis of a measure of change used by many historians and archeologists.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jorge A. Gutierrez on January 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
McClellan and Dorn have written a basic but very complete book on the, until recently, parallel histories of technology and science. Very clear concepts, very well documented and extremely interesting. It should be mandatory reading for engineering and science undergraduates, journalists and, why not, politicians. I read it in 3 days, and enjoyed it as much as a good novel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Freyja's Books on December 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is quite possibly the most important book I have ever read. I came to this book from a history background, not a scientific one, and I can say that I learned a great deal about history that my professors in college neglected to mention. Everything from the fact that China under the Song Dynasty was far more advanced than Europe or the Islamic World in the Middle Ages, to the fact that most of the branches of science at today's universities weren't in existence in the Scientific Revolution, to the fact that Einstein's theories replaced Newton's were all eye-opening discoveries to me. The author does a good job of explaining why psychology and the social sciences are so less reputable compared to the fast-advancing branches of physics, chemistry, biology, and so on.

I wish this book had a more extensive anthology to read after finishing this introductory book, but since it does not, I will take up the author's recommendation and continue on to the Cambridge History of Science (although at $200 a volume, I don't know how successful I'll be at this!)

I would definitely recommend this book for an overview of science and technology in world history. I honestly read this book more for the technology aspect, which seemed neglected at certain points of the book but overall it gives a nice, brief summary of technology in history. Most of the technology discussions in the book started in the Industrial Revolution, since most technology we use today was invented since the 1740s, and particularly in the last century. Very well done!
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Michael Chaly on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a massively disappointing book! The authors’ main theme is that science and technology did not develop together but rather were isolated and compartmentalized from one another until the Industrial Revolution and the second half of the 19th century. In fact, we seem to owe almost everything to the technology side of things when it comes to useful and important development in civilization until the1800s. This in itself isn’t so bad but what ruins this book is the political, politically correct agenda and gross bias inserted annoyingly throughout the chapters with little relevancy to the main points in each section.

Just one small example is the forced, contrived, obligatory lines put in at the end of a discussion on the automobile, electronics, and modern (20th century) that talks about the disparity of wealth, uneven use of resources, and exploitation of our modern lifestyle. In the same vein, however, the authors assert that the rise of industrialization outside of the West proves that it is not a culturally unique phenomenon to the West and is much like the parallel developments of hydro civilizations that worked out ancient marvels and systems around the work independently (China, Mayans, Egyptians, etc.). This is extremely disingenuous as the have not/non Western nations required colossal amounts of Western assistance, education, materials, organization, and procedures in order to have their own industrialization. If one is to maintain that the West got to where it is by enslaving and exploitation the rest than at least acknowledge that the West was then the only region in position to create and manage unique systems and inventions to their own culture and region.
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