By David F. Noble
"An terribly special and heavily argued exam of the institutional units that got here to hyperlink administration and engineering."--The New Republic
"One of the simplest books of the final decade....It has that infrequent stability: quiet, cumulative strength with bolts of lightning each few pages."--William Appleman Williams, Oregon country University
"One of the phenomenal works of radical social technological know-how of the 1970s."--Monthly Review
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Additional resources for America by Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism
The classical Marxian view of the role of technology in capitalist society is more subtle and compelling. Here the fundamental relationship between society (social relations) and technology (forces of production) is a dialectical one, and thus, in essence, an identity, with the two being but different aspects of the single process of social production. Insofar as the emerging capitalist social relations between classes make possible the creation of a social surplus, they make possible as well the development of more sophisticated productive forces which both reflect and reinforce those social relations.
T. Throughout the five-year period during which this study took shape, I was fortunate to have received advice and encouragement from a number of people. Loren Baritz early counseled me to take my time with the study, sound and unusual advice in this era of tight markets and fast hustles. Among those friendly critics who read at least one version of the entire manuscript and forced me to rethink some of the key themes were: Herbert G. Gutman, Christopher Lasch, Gerard D. McCauley, David Montgomery, Nathan N.
Coffin, and its name was changed to the Thomson-Houston Electric Company. Primarily because of the inventive genius of Thomson and his skill at managing his small band of researchers, the company soon developed the best arc-lighting system on the market. At the same time it patented all the improvements for which a patent could be granted—current regulator, air-blast commutator, and lightning arrester—in an effort to monopolize the infant industry. In addition to securing patents on its own inventions, the Thomson-Houston company, under the strong leadership of Coffin and with the solid financial backing of Boston financiers, initiated a policy of either buying out or merging with competitors, with the purpose of both eliminating rivals and securing control over essential patents.
America by Design: Science, Technology, and the Rise of Corporate Capitalism by David F. Noble