- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books (December 1, 1990)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014011582X
- ISBN-13: 978-0140115826
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,180,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Disappearing Through the Skylight: Culture and Technology in the Twentieth Century
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From Publishers Weekly
Armed with the opinion that technological and cultural trends are negating history and the idea of humanity itself, Hardison takes readers on a tour of the modern age. Described by PW as "by turns incisive and glib," this volume offers "engaging discussions of all manner of topics, from the British cracking of the Germans' Enigma code in WW II to automobiles as 'thin-steel sculptures.' " Illustrated.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Hardison, English professor (Georgetown), Shakespearean scholar, and amateur physicist, is always entertaining and often thought-provoking, as in Entering the Maze: Identity & Change in Modern Culture (Oxford Univ. Pr., 1981); here, he is very successful at placing the advent of technology within the context of our century. Through witty and elegantly written chapters on art, architecture, music, and poetry, he weaves a cogent and coherent theory on how the world left the domain of philosophers and classical artists and entered that of mathematicians and computer scientists. When our capacity to envision nature as solid and tangible "disappeared through the skylight," our ability to envision what nature and science consist of was irrevocably altered. Of the current titles that seem to address this subject, this is by far the best: Hardison illustrates, cleverly and vividly, by example. Challenging but highly readable, the book should spark discussion. Fascinating and well conceived.
- Mark Shelton, Columbus, Ohio
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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There were some interesting ideas in this book, but overall it seemed to be pretty abstract and I didn't want to have to work that hard to "get" why this was important. This reminded me of the type of books you get forced to read in school, and I forced myself to complete it. I think some of the ideas, particularly in the last chapter, may have been off base in terms of predicting the future. This book was written before the online revolution took shape, and this book did not seem to anticipate the effects of the online revolution.
I give it four stars since it was well written and I'm sure it is good for you, like eating your vegetables.
The essays are certainly not traditional but nevertheless they appeal and "work". It is culture and all its many facets that are explored in this book. From art to architecture to poetry (great chapter on Dada) to symbols, evolution, technology in all its many variants - eclectic essays accompany each. There are many diagrams, photographs, charts, etc that enhance the reader's pleasure. Some insights into the acceleration of evolutionary change are quite readable.