Engineering the Revolution: Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815

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University of Chicago Press, Apr 15, 2010 - Technology & Engineering - 496 pages
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Engineering the Revolution documents the forging of a new relationship between technology and politics in Revolutionary France, and the inauguration of a distinctively modern form of the “technological life.” Here, Ken Alder rewrites the history of the eighteenth century as the total history of one particular artifact—the gun—by offering a novel and historical account of how material artifacts emerge as the outcome of political struggle. By expanding the “political” to include conflict over material objects, this volume rethinks the nature of engineering rationality, the origins of mass production, the rise of meritocracy, and our interpretation of the Enlightenment and the French Revolution.

 

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User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

Although this is a book about the struggles for and against the implementation of interchangeable parts manufacturing for guns in the pre-revolutionary and post-revolutionary era, it’s also a great ... Read full review

Contents

A Revolution of Engineers?
3
Engineering Design Capital into Coercion 17631793
21
Engineering Production Coercion into Capital 17631793
125
Engineering Society Technocracy and Revolution 17941815
251
Conclusion
344
Abbreviations
352
Notes
353
Bibliography
421
Index
457
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About the author (2010)

Ken Alder is the Milton H. Wilson Professor of the Humanities and professor of history at Northwestern University. He is the author of The Measure of All Things: The Seven-Year Odyssey and Hidden Error that Transformed the World and The Lie Detectors: The History of an American Obsession.

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