Book Review the Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900

2201 Words Oct 5th, 2012 9 Pages
Modern technology is often thought of as encompassing, frequently being changed and updated, and science-intensive with electronic or digital bits. When we do consider technology in historical terms we customarily see it as a driving force of progress, something that has enabled people to perform tasks more effectively than ever before, which brings a new age into being. However, people rarely recognize that modern technology is not just a matter of electricity, mass production, aerospace, nuclear power and the internet. Modern technology also involves the trivial creations we are not likely to care about. The rickshaw, DDT, cement, asbestos, the spinning wheel or corrugated iron are just a few pieces of technology that have become a …show more content…
In the First and Second World Wars, the use of horses for transport was particularly remarkable in transportation. Horsepower re-emerged on a grand scale in the twentieth-century but is often overshadowed by the technological achievements between these colossal wars such as the tank in the First World War or the atom bomb in the Second World War[5]. It takes time in order for “old” technologies to become of significant value. The chapter “Production” discusses the standard image of twentieth-century production centred on mass production leading to unprecedented rated of economic growth. Edgerton states we often think of economic growth led by large manufacturing sectors. In China, however, the collective farming that occurred during the mid 1970 's led to a phenomenal growth in rural industries and the Chinese economy as a whole[6]. The “Production” chapter challenges the reader to view economic booms like China independent from successful technological revolutions and recognize the “old” methods of agriculture that have existed throughout China 's and other prospering Third World countries ' history. The following chapter is “Maintenance”. Edgerton believes “seldom, is maintenance addressed in the history of technology because it does not adhere to the highly regarded innovation-centric ideology”[7]. Edgerton explains that in underdeveloped countries like Ghana, there are numerous car
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