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Technological Revolutions in Europe

Historical Perspectives

Format: Hardback
Publisher: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Published: 28th Apr 1998
Dimensions: w 234mm h 156mm d 1270mm
Weight: 500g
ISBN-10: 1858986818
ISBN-13: 9781858986814
Barcode No: 9781858986814
Synopsis
This major new book contains contributions by many of the leading historians of technology. The contributors argue that culture, institutions and learning either made the way for, or blocked technological and industrial transformation. Their essays include broad comparative frameworks between Europe and Asia, and Europe and America, and examine the specific experiences of Britain, France, Holland, Germany and Scandinavia. Themes addressed include cultures of invention and the learning economy, technological inertia and path dependence, patents and product innovation, and technology, institutions and boundaries.

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'As with any edited collection, the question should be asked: is the sum greater than the separate parts? In this case, the answer is in the affirmative. Many of the chapters are usefully cross-referenced and there is substantial evidence of editorial guidance. There can be little doubt that the empirical material will grace many an undergraduate essay, whilst the more reflective chapters provide essential points of reference for more mature scholars.' -- Maurice Kirby, Australian Economic History Review 'The editors have succeeded in addressing new issues and bringing together some new perspectives on old topics. This collection will be particularly helpful for students of European economic history, and the inclusion of more English-language material on Scandinavian economic history is especially to be welcomed.' -- Alexander J. Field, Santa Clara University, US '... Berg and Bruland and their contributors have made a significant step in defining a new agenda for the study of technological change in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries... it achieves what its editors hoped to: to introduce a social and cultural dimension, a breadth which technological history has sometimes lacked.' -- Gillian Cookson, The Economic History Review 'This collection will be useful to students looking for new ways of understanding technical transformations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.' -- David J. Jeremy, Business History 'This volume amply supports and illustrates its editors' contention that the explanation of technological change needs to be approached from a broad "systems" perspective, recognizing the tacit as well as the codified aspects of "learning", and situating particular innovations and their diffusion within a larger historical context that includes political, legal, cultural and ideological factors, as well as complementary technical elements. Maxine Berg and Kristine Bruland have drawn a stimulating and varied collection of learned contributions from leading scholars in the economic and social history of science and technology, and, in so doing, have pointed the way towards a promising new direction for research into the springs of invention and the dynamics of industrial transformation.' -- Paul A. David, All Souls College, Oxford and Stanford University, US 'This is the new "new economic history": learning from economics and cultural studies, prudence and sympathy, to give the first believable account of that astonishing conversation, the Industrial Revolution.' -- Deirdre McCloskey, University of Iowa and Erasmus University, Rotterdam, The Netherlands