From the invention of the wheel to the mapping of the genome, technology has always been deeply intertwined with the course of human history.
Now, this fascinating set explores the role technology has played in eighteen separate cultures in world history, and reveals the many ways people use technology to control their environment, express religious values, deploy political power, confer social status, and afford themselves varying degrees of pleasure, comfort, and security. Whether focusing on Egyptian pyramids or medieval cathedrals, the Mayan astronomical calendar or the internet, Technology in World History illuminates the amazing array of technologies that humans have developed to shape and give meaning to their lives.
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W. Bernard Carlson is at University of Virginia.From Booklist:
This set chronicles the social and cultural impact of technology on history from the prehistoric era through modern day. The editor employs a broad definition of technology, encompassing both traditional interpretations addressed in standard world history survey sets (agriculture, industrialization, transportation, navigation, civil engineering, etc.) as well as areas such as medicine and pharmacology, warfare, time (clocks and calendars), and fine and domestic arts (porcelain, glasswork, fabric, jewelry, etc.). Subjects range from radical breakthroughs such as cloning to everyday but significant advancements such as stirrups and horseshoes. Articles provide background information; discuss the intent, actual use, and lasting impact of specific technological advancements; and describe the roles that technicians and skilled workers played in society. The text also addresses historic technological anomalies: Why were zebras never domesticated? Why was pottery making abandoned in Polynesia during the first millennium? Why did the peoples of Mesoamerica never develop wheeled transportation?
Volume 7 is a reference volume, offering a 26-page glossary with detailed, paragraphs-long definitions (Greek fire, liquid crystal display, pendulum, etc.); annotated bibliographies of Web sites and recommended titles; and a comprehensive set index. The preceding six volumes are arranged according to chronological era, from Prehistoric and Ancient World to The Modern World. Each volume has three chapters devoted to three specific cultural areas--for example, The Medieval World covers Europe, the Islamic Empire, and China. Chapters are broken into numerous unique subsections. Pages feature two columns of text accompanied by numerous full-color illustrations, drawings, reproductions, photographs, time lines, and maps. All illustrations are accompanied by detailed captions sufficient to satisfy the curiosity of browsers. Each volume also features volume-specific introductory material and indexing.
The chronological approach differs from UXL's Science, Technology, and Society: The Impact of Science throughout History--2000 BC through the 18th Century (2002), which is divided according to discipline (life science, mathematics, etc.), or Marshall Cavendish's Encyclopedia of Technology and Applied Sciences (2000), which is arranged alphabetically. Intended for novice researchers (there are no see or see also references, no footnotes, no article-specific references) and accessible to students in grades five and up, this graphic-intense resource will support both science and social studies curricula. Recommended for school and public library collections. Kathleen McBroom
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