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

By: Alder, Ken.
Material type: TextTextSeries: eBooks on Demand.Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 2010Description: 1 online resource (494 p.).ISBN: 9780226012650.Subject(s): Artillery -- Technological innovations -- France -- History -- 18th century | Enlightenment -- France -- Influence | France -- History -- Revolution, 1789-1799 -- Influence | France -- History, Military -- 1789-1815 | France -- Politics and government -- 1789-1815 | Military engineers -- Political activity -- France -- History -- 18th century | Technology and civilization -- Political aspects -- FranceGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Engineering the Revolution : Arms and Enlightenment in France, 1763-1815DDC classification: 944.04 LOC classification: DC151 | .A434 2010Online resources: Click here to view this ebook.
Contents:
Contents; List of Illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgments; Introduction: A Revolution of Engineers?; Part One: Engineering Design: Capital into Coercion, 1763-1793; 1. The Last Argument of the King; 2. A Social Epistemology of Enlightenment Engineering; 3. Design and Deployment; Part Two: Engineering Production: Coercion into Capital, 1763-1793; 4. The Tools of Practical Reason; 5. The Saint-Etienne Armory: Musket-Making and the End of the Ancien Regime; 6. Inventing Interchangeability: Mechanical Ideals, Political Realities
Part Three: Engineering Society: Technocracy and Revolution, 1794-18157. The Machine in the Revolution; 8. Terror, Technocracy, Thermidor; 9. Technological Amnesia and the Entrepreneurial Order; Conclusion; Abbreviations; Notes; Bibliography; Index
Summary: 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,
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Electronic Book UT Tyler Online
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DC151 .A434 2010 (Browse shelf) http://uttyler.eblib.com/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=534571 Available EBL534571

Contents; List of Illustrations; Preface; Acknowledgments; Introduction: A Revolution of Engineers?; Part One: Engineering Design: Capital into Coercion, 1763-1793; 1. The Last Argument of the King; 2. A Social Epistemology of Enlightenment Engineering; 3. Design and Deployment; Part Two: Engineering Production: Coercion into Capital, 1763-1793; 4. The Tools of Practical Reason; 5. The Saint-Etienne Armory: Musket-Making and the End of the Ancien Regime; 6. Inventing Interchangeability: Mechanical Ideals, Political Realities

Part Three: Engineering Society: Technocracy and Revolution, 1794-18157. The Machine in the Revolution; 8. Terror, Technocracy, Thermidor; 9. Technological Amnesia and the Entrepreneurial Order; Conclusion; Abbreviations; Notes; Bibliography; Index

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,

Description based upon print version of record.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

CHOICE Review

Using extensive primary and secondary sources, both cited in the text and heavily footnoted, Alder shows that despite their political success in France (1763-1815), enlightened engineers were unable to overcome the corporate opposition of artisans and merchants to the introduction of interchangeable parts in uniform production of cannons and guns. He emphasizes that debate over the design and fit of guns mirrored the debate over the structure of French society. Alder maintains that Marxist views are wrong as there was no industrial revolution, little socioeconomic structural change, and that one must not confuse revolutionary rhetoric with social reality. He cites the de Tocqueville view that the French Revolution made possible the ancien regime all over again through the continued control of the military industrial complex. Further, Tocqueville believed in the continuity of administrative organs over the revolutionary divide that Alder found in the technocratic engineering control of political organs before and after the revolution, the values of which were enshrined in the Ecole Polytechnique. In this sense, he maintains that the French Revolution was as much a revolution over technocratic values as over republican principles. The hierarchical technological values survived egalitarian revolution. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. W. Mackey; emeritus, Ball State University

Author notes provided by Syndetics

<p> 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 .</p>

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