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Mechanization Takes Command: A Contribution to Anonymous History (New York Review Books Classics)

ISBN13: 9781590173374
ISBN: 1590173376
Binding: Paperback
Publisher: NYRB Classics
Published Date:
Pages: 768
Average Goodreads rating: 4.24/5

Over the last 200 years mechanization has moved from being a marginal marvel, of interest to scientists & tinkerers, to the dominant condition of modern society & economy, so much so that it's now easy to imagine a future where mechanization even enters into the human mind & body. Siegfried Giedion's extraordinary, encyclopedic book traces the various ways in which, for better & for worse, mechanization has assumed control of our lives, from modern systems of hygiene & waste management, to agricultural production, fashion & beyond. This book isn't only clearly written but also eloquent & thoughtful in its investigation of mechanization's reach & appeal. It offers fascinating insights into the intersection between mechanization & the imagination, as manifested in literature & the visual arts. With a wealth of unusual & intriguing illustrations taken from old sales catalogs, industrial manuals, magazines & other sources, this book constitutes a remarkable & endlessly suggestive history of modernity itself, as comprehensive as it is provocatively eccentric.
Foreword
Anonymous history
Springs of mechanizaton
Means of mechanization (locks, assembly line)
Mechanization encounters the organic (agriculture, bread making, meat production)
Mechanization encounters human surroundings (furniture)
Mechanization encounters the household (kitchen, laundering, refrigeration)
Mechanization of the bath
Conclusion
List of Illustrations
Index