Rescuing Prometheus

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Pantheon Books, Jul 21, 1998 - Business & Economics - 372 pages
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In his farewell address, President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the dangers posed by the "military-industrial-university complex." His warning became a rallying cry of liberal dissent and, for some, this partnership became the most ominous aspect of what came to be known as the "establishment." Rescuing Prometheus presents a radically different view of the alliances behind the large-scale technological and scientific undertakings of the post-World War II era. In his analysis of the accomplishments of this coalition, Thomas Hughes shows how aerospace, computing, and communications were revolutionized. He explains how the design and development of four projects in particular led to a new understanding of technology: The SAGE air-defense project fostered the first interactive, digital computer designed for information processing; the Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile project inspired a new form of management known as systems engineering; the Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project addressed the complex relations between industry, science, and grassroots community interests; and ARPANET, the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, would not only create the information superhighway but also develop the collegial, meritocratic management style now prevalent in the computer softwa re industry. Rescuing Prometheus is an eye-opening revisionist history of technology in our time.

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Rescuing Prometheus

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In the latter half of the 20th century, we have grown accustomed to "bigger and better." Hughes (history and sociology of science, Univ. of Pennsylvania; American Genesis: A Century of Invention and ... Read full review

Review: Rescuing Prometheus: Four Monumental Projects that Changed Our World

User Review  - Klenk - Goodreads

didn't finish. I was hoping for more analysis of the projects, but it was much more of a history of the people involved, a who knows who name dropping experience. Read full review


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About the author (1998)

Thomas P. Hughes is Emeritus Mellon Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  His books include American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technology. Currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at MIT, he lives in Philadelphia.