The Power of the Machine: The Impact of Technology from 1700 to the Present Day
By far the most important single factor in world history has been the process of technological revolution whereby small-scale agricultural societies have been transformed into massive industrialized and urbanized communities.
This development has occurred over a long period of time, but its greatest thrust has been concentrated over the last two centuries, beginning in the West, in Europe and North America, and then spreading through the rest of the world. The author systematically analyses this process, showing how increasing mastery over sources of power provided increased industrial and agricultural productivity, and created radically new methods of transport and communication. He then examines the impact of these technical achievements on society, paying special attention to the political and ecological consequences of a vastly increased world population, the facilities for rapid transport and instantaneous communication, and the possession of weapons of immense destructive force.
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