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About this product
- DescriptionTechlogy has long played a central role in the formation of Americans' sense of selfhood. From the first canal systems through the moon landing, we have, for better or worse, derived unity from the common feeling of awe inspired by largescale applications of techlogical prowess. American Techlogical Sublime continues the exploration of the social construction of techlogy that David Nye began in his award-winning book Electrifying America. Here Nye examines the continuing appeal of the techlogical sublime (a term coined by Perry Miller) as a key to the nation's history, using as examples the natural sites, architectural forms, and techlogical achievements that ordinary people have valued intensely. This text is a study of the politics of perception in industrial society. Arranged chrologically, it suggests that the sublime itself has a history - that sublime experiences are emotional configurations that emerge from new social and techlogical conditions, and that each new configuration to some extent undermines and displaces the older versions. After giving a short history of the sublime as an aesthetic category, Nye describes the re-emergence and democratization of the concept in the early 19th century as an expression of the American sense of specialness. What has filled the American public with wonder, awe, even terror? David Nye selects the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, the eruption of Mt. St. Helens, the Erie Canal, the first transcontinental railroad, Eads Bridge, Brooklyn Bridge, the major international expositions, the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909, the Empire State Building, and Boulder Dam. He then looks at the atom bomb tests and the Apollo mission as examples of the increasing ambivalence of the techlogical sublime in the postwar world. The festivities surrounding the re-dedication of the Statue of Liberty in 1986 become a touchstone reflecting the transformation of the American experience of the sublime over two centuries. Nye concludes with a vision of the modern-day consumer sublime as manifested in the fantasy world of Las Vegas.
- Author(s)David E. Nye
- PublisherMIT Press Ltd
- Date of Publication21/12/1994
- Place of PublicationCambridge, Mass.
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintMIT Press
- Out-of-print date07/05/2009
- Content Note47
- Weight454 g
- Width165 mm
- Height237 mm
- Spine25 mm
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