America Calling: A Social History of the Telephone to 1940

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University of California Press, 1992 - Social Science - 424 pages
The telephone looms large in our lives, as present in modern societies as cars and television. Claude Fischer presents a social history of this vital but little-studied technology - how we encountered, tested, and ultimately embraced it with enthusiasm. Using telephone ads, oral histories, telephone industry correspondence and statistical data, the study explores how, when and why Americans started communicating in this radically new manner.

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User Review  - lamona - LibraryThing

There is a distinct parallel between the history of the adoption of the telephone and the history of the growth of the Internet. Fischer's book shows how the telephone began as a broadcast system but ... Read full review

America calling: a social history of the telephone to 1940

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

A warning to those who see technology as having clear and far-reaching consequences in American life: Don't use the telephone as an obvious example. From a user-centered view of technological ... Read full review

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About the author (1992)

Claude Fischer is a French-born American sociologist. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and currently teaches sociology at the University of California, at Berkeley. Most of Fischer's work focuses on urban society. He has written extensively on structural changes in modern society and has researched social networks and the displacement of traditional territorially based communities by new communities of human association. Fischer is also interested in the impact of technology on social relations and social institutions; most recently, he has investigated the social history of the telephone.

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