This page presents the assigned readings per class session, followed by bibliography with complete citations for all works.

Assigned Readings



Discussion of Leo Marx's paper. "Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept."

Smith and Clancey. pp. xiii-xv and 1-25.


Mumford. Technics and Civilization. pp. 3-106.

Mumford Article

Lapartito. "Historian in the Rose Garden."


E. P. Thompson Article

Gutman Article

Smith and Clancey. pp. 144-190.


Cronon. Nature's Metropolis. (Complete)

Smith and Clancey. pp. 191-233.

5 Reading period (class does not meet)

Aitken. Taylorism. (Complete)

Smith and Clancey. pp. 267-354.

7 Fritzsche. Nation of Fliers. (Complete)

Nye. Electrifying America. (Complete)

Smith and Clancey. pp. 233-66 and 355-82.


Cowan Articles

McGaw Article

Lapartito. "When Women Were Switches."


Russell. War and Nature. (Complete)

Smith and Clancey, pp. 383-426.

11 Reading period (class does not meet)

MacKenzie. Inventing Accuracy. (Complete)

Smith and Clancey. pp. 427-70.

13 Reading period (class does not meet)
14 Maines. Asbestos and Fire. (Complete)




Smith, Merritt Roe, and Gregory Clancey, eds. Major Problems in the History of American Technology. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1997. ISBN: 9780669354720.

Mumford, Lewis. Technics and Civilization. San Diego, CA: Harcourt Brace, 1963. ISBN: 9780156882545.

Cronon, W. Nature's Metropolis: Chicago and the Great West . New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 1992. ISBN: 9780393308730.

Aitken, H. G. J. Scientific Management in Action: Taylorism at the Watertown Arsenal, 1908-1915. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985. ISBN: 9780691042411.

Fritzsche, Peter. A Nation of Fliers: German Aviation and the Popular Imagination. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994. ISBN: 9780674601222.

Buy at MIT Press Nye, David. Electrifying America. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992. ISBN: 9780262640305.

Russell, Edmund. War and Nature: Fighting Humans and Insects with Chemicals from World War I to Silent Spring. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2001. ISBN: 9780521799379.

Buy at MIT Press MacKenzie, Donald. Inventing Accuracy: An Historical Sociology of Nuclear Missile Guidance. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993. ISBN: 9780262631471.

Maines, Rachel. Asbestos and Fire: Technological Tradeoffs and the Body at Risk. Piscataway, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2005. ISBN: 9780813535753.

Articles and Book Chapters

Marx, Leo. "Technology: The Emergence of a Hazardous Concept." Social Research 64, no. 3 (Fall 1997): 965-88.

Mumford, Lewis. "Authoritarian and Democratic Technics." Technology and Culture 5 (Winter 1964): 1-8.

Lipartito, Kenneth. "The Historian in the Rose Garden." Technology and Culture 41 (July 2000): 537-48.

———. "When Women Were Switches: Technology, Work, and Gender in the Telephone Industry, 1890-1920." American Historical Review 99 (October 1994): 1074-1111.

Thompson, Edward P. "Time, Work-Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism." Past and Present 38 (1967): 56-97. [Also reprinted in Thompson's book, Customs in Common (1992).]

Gutman, Herbert. "Work, Culture, and Society in Industrializing America, 1815-1919." American Historical Review 78, no. 3 (June 1973): 531-88. [Also reprinted in Gutman's book, Work, Culture, and Society (1976).]

Cowan, Ruth S. "The 'Industrial Revolution' in the Home: Household Technology and Social Change in the 20th century." Technology and Culture 17, no. 1 (January 1976): 1-24.

Buy at MIT Press ———. "The Consumption Junction." In The Social Construction of Technological Systems. Edited by Wiebe Bijker, Thomas Hughes, and Trevor Pinch. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1987. ISBN: 9780262022620.

McGaw, Judith A. "No Passive Victims, No Separate Spheres: A Feminist Perspective on Technology's History." In In Context: History and the History of Technology. Edited by Stephen H. Cutcliffe and Robert C. Post. Cranbury, NJ: Lehigh University Press, 1989. ISBN: 9780934223034.

Noble, David F. "Social Choice in Machine Design." In Case Studies on the Labor Process. Edited by Andrew Zimbalist. New York, NY: Monthly Review Press, 1981. ISBN: 9780853455196.