Buy New
$33.42
Qty:1
  • List Price: $36.95
  • Save: $3.53 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 9 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
The Human Motor: Energy, ... has been added to your Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity Paperback – January 8, 1992


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Paperback
"Please retry"
$33.42
$27.64 $19.61



Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Drawing analogies from the 19th-century discovery of the laws of thermodynamics, European social scientists envisioned the toiling worker's body as a "human motor," a living machine; maximizing work-force efficiency and eradicating the "disease" of fatigue seemed within reach. Psychologists and physiologists subjected the body's rhythms and movements to laboratory study. The psychiatric complaint of neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion, was epidemic, and German scientists in the early 1900s sought a vaccine to cure fatigue. In a dense, rewarding study, Rabinbach ( The Crisis of Austrian Socialism ) shows how the "science of work," spreading beyond such areas as industrial management, physical education and accident prevention, pervaded the language of technocrats, Marxists and fascists who viewed the worker as a machine. He pinpoints a source of modern spiritual malaise: the transformation from a strictly work-centered society to one in which work has been abandoned as a source of self-fulfillment.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"A fine example of what might be called the new cultural history of science. Tracing in great detail how one metaphor from science and technology has shaped contemporary political and social thought, The Human Motor is an intriguing study." -- Robert Howard, New York Times Book Review

"Rabinbach has performed a major feat of historical reconstruction. The Human Motor is a skillful and theoretically informed synthesis of social and intellectual history." -- Jackson Lears, The New Republic
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (January 8, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520078276
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520078277
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #931,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
1
4 star
1
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pundit on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Provides a detailed historical perspective with documentation, of western Europe's fixation with the study of fatigue, productivity. For work physiologists, this is a must read as it provides the foundational basis for present day laboratory procedures and research directions.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
0 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Libb Thims on November 17, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book is similar in theme and content to Mirowski's 1989 More Heat than Light (albeit less technically rigorous), containing interesting trivia tidbits, e.g. that German mathematician Carl Neumann, the first to introduce the d-hat derivative symbol for inexact differentials (1875), had views on how economic life related to energetic components of energy exchanges between people. Here's a short bio on Rabinbach:

[...]

He states that the book originated from a 1993 paper he wrote.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Frequently Bought Together

The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity + Suspensions of Perception: Attention, Spectacle, and Modern Culture (October Books) + Discourse Networks, 1800/1900
Price for all three: $87.41

Buy the selected items together