Download and read online Competing with the Soviets in PDF and EPUB For most of the second half of the twentieth century, the United States and its allies competed with a hostile Soviet Union in almost every way imaginable except open military engagement. The Cold War placed two opposite conceptions of the good society before the uncommitted world and history itself, and science figured prominently in the picture. Competing with the Soviets offers a short, accessible introduction to the special role that science and technology played in maintaining state power during the Cold War, from the atomic bomb to the Human Genome Project. The high-tech machinery of nuclear physics and the space race are at the center of this story, but Audra J. Wolfe also examines the surrogate battlefield of scientific achievement in such diverse fields as urban planning, biology, and economics; explains how defense-driven federal investments created vast laboratories and research programs; and shows how unfamiliar worries about national security and corrosive questions of loyalty crept into the supposedly objective scholarly enterprise. Based on the assumption that scientists are participants in the culture in which they live, Competing with the Soviets looks beyond the debate about whether military influence distorted science in the Cold War. Scientists’ choices and opportunities have always been shaped by the ideological assumptions, political mandates, and social mores of their times. The idea that American science ever operated in a free zone outside of politics is, Wolfe argues, itself a legacy of the ideological Cold War that held up American science, and scientists, as beacons of freedom in contrast to their peers in the Soviet Union. Arranged chronologically and thematically, the book highlights how ideas about the appropriate relationships among science, scientists, and the state changed over time. -- Michael D. Gordin, Princeton University
Download and read online Sharing Knowledge Shaping Europe in PDF and EPUB How America used its technological leadership in the 1950s and the 1960s to foster European collaboration and curb nuclear proliferation, with varying degrees of success.
Download and read online The New Math in PDF and EPUB An era of sweeping cultural change in America, the postwar years saw the rise of beatniks and hippies, the birth of feminism, and the release of the first video game. It was also the era of new math. Introduced to US schools in the late 1950s and 1960s, the new math was a curricular answer to Cold War fears of American intellectual inadequacy. In the age of Sputnik and increasingly sophisticated technological systems and machines, math class came to be viewed as a crucial component of the education of intelligent, virtuous citizens who would be able to compete on a global scale. In this history, Christopher J. Phillips examines the rise and fall of the new math as a marker of the period’s political and social ferment. Neither the new math curriculum designers nor its diverse legions of supporters concentrated on whether the new math would improve students’ calculation ability. Rather, they felt the new math would train children to think in the right way, instilling in students a set of mental habits that might better prepare them to be citizens of modern society—a world of complex challenges, rapid technological change, and unforeseeable futures. While Phillips grounds his argument in shifting perceptions of intellectual discipline and the underlying nature of mathematical knowledge, he also touches on long-standing debates over the place and relevance of mathematics in liberal education. And in so doing, he explores the essence of what it means to be an intelligent American—by the numbers.
Download and read online Science and Technology in the Global Cold War in PDF and EPUB The Cold War period saw a dramatic expansion of state-funded science and technology research. Government and military patronage shaped Cold War technoscientific practices, imposing methods that were project oriented, team based, and subject to national-security restrictions. These changes affected not just the arms race and the space race but also research in agriculture, biomedicine, computer science, ecology, meteorology, and other fields. This volume examines science and technology in the context of the Cold War, considering whether the new institutions and institutional arrangements that emerged globally constrained technoscientific inquiry or offered greater opportunities for it. The contributors find that whatever the particular science, and whatever the political system in which that science was operating, the knowledge that was produced bore some relation to the goals of the nation-state. These goals varied from nation to nation; weapons research was emphasized in the United States and the Soviet Union, for example, but in France and China scientific independence and self-reliance dominated. The contributors also consider to what extent the changes to science and technology practices in this era were produced by the specific politics, anxieties, and aspirations of the Cold War.ContributorsElena Aronova, Erik M. Conway, Angela N. H. Creager, David Kaiser, John Krige, Naomi Oreskes, George Reisch, Sigrid Schmalzer, Sonja D. Schmid, Matthew Shindell, Asif A. Siddiqi, Zuoyue Wang, Benjamin Wilson
Download and read online Science and Technology in World History in PDF and EPUB
Download and read online Soldiers of Reason in PDF and EPUB An in-depth history of the RAND Corporation describes the behind-the-scenes role of the secretive think tank in shaping American political policy for six decades, detailing its origins, the part it played during the Cold War, and its development of the rational choice theory. Reprint.
Download and read online The Cybernetics Moment in PDF and EPUB Cybernetics—the science of communication and control as it applies to machines and to humans—originates from efforts during World War II to build automatic anti-aircraft systems. Following the war, this science extended beyond military needs to examine all systems that rely on information and feedback, from the level of the cell to that of society. In The Cybernetics Moment, Ronald R. Kline, a senior historian of technology, examines the intellectual and cultural history of cybernetics and information theory, whose language of "information," "feedback," and "control" transformed the idiom of the sciences, hastened the development of information technologies, and laid the conceptual foundation for what we now call the Information Age. Kline argues that, for about twenty years after 1950, the growth of cybernetics and information theory and ever-more-powerful computers produced a utopian information narrative—an enthusiasm for information science that influenced natural scientists, social scientists, engineers, humanists, policymakers, public intellectuals, and journalists, all of whom struggled to come to grips with new relationships between humans and intelligent machines. Kline traces the relationship between the invention of computers and communication systems and the rise, decline, and transformation of cybernetics by analyzing the lives and work of such notables as Norbert Wiener, Claude Shannon, Warren McCulloch, Margaret Mead, Gregory Bateson, and Herbert Simon. Ultimately, he reveals the crucial role played by the cybernetics moment—when cybernetics and information theory were seen as universal sciences—in setting the stage for our current preoccupation with information technologies.
Download and read online The Noble Hustle in PDF and EPUB From the bestselling author of The Underground Railroad An NPR Best Book of the Year In 2011, Grantland magazine gave bestselling novelist Colson Whitehead $10,000 to play at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. It was the assignment of a lifetime, except for one hitch--he'd never played in a casino tournament before. With just six weeks to train, our humble narrator took the Greyhound to Atlantic City to learn the ways of high-stakes Texas Hold'em. Poker culture, he discovered, is marked by joy, heartbreak, and grizzled veterans playing against teenage hotshots weaned on Internet gambling. Not to mention the not-to-be overlooked issue of coordinating Port Authority bus schedules with your kid's drop-off and pickup at school. Finally arriving in Vegas for the multimillion-dollar tournament, Whitehead brilliantly details his progress, both literal and existential, through the event's antes and turns, through its gritty moments of calculation, hope, and spectacle. Entertaining, ironic, and strangely profound, this epic search for meaning at the World Series of Poker is a sure bet.
Download and read online The Ringtone Dialectic in PDF and EPUB The rise and fall of the ringtone industry and its effect on mobile entertainment, music, television, film, and politics.
Download and read online The Rise of Nuclear Fear in PDF and EPUB After the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant had a meltdown, protesters around the world challenged nuclear power. Climate change has never aroused this visceral dread. Weart dissects this paradox, showing that powerful images surrounding nuclear energy hold us captive, allowing fear, rather than facts, to drive our thinking and public policy.
Download and read online Mandarins of the Future in PDF and EPUB Because it provided the dominant framework for the "development" of poor, postcolonial countries, modernization theory ranks among the most important constructs of twentieth-century social science. In Mandarins of the Future, Nils Gilman offers the first intellectual history of a movement that has had far-reaching, and often unintended, consequences.
Download and read online Worse Than a Monolith in PDF and EPUB In brute-force struggles for survival, such as the two World Wars, disorganization and divisions within an enemy alliance are to one's own advantage. However, most international security politics involve coercive diplomacy and negotiations short of all-out war. Worse Than a Monolith demonstrates that when states are engaged in coercive diplomacy--combining threats and assurances to influence the behavior of real or potential adversaries--divisions, rivalries, and lack of coordination within the opposing camp often make it more difficult to prevent the onset of conflict, to prevent existing conflicts from escalating, and to negotiate the end to those conflicts promptly. Focusing on relations between the Communist and anti-Communist alliances in Asia during the Cold War, Thomas Christensen explores how internal divisions and lack of cohesion in the two alliances complicated and undercut coercive diplomacy by sending confusing signals about strength, resolve, and intent. In the case of the Communist camp, internal mistrust and rivalries catalyzed the movement's aggressiveness in ways that we would not have expected from a more cohesive movement under Moscow's clear control. Reviewing newly available archival material, Christensen examines the instability in relations across the Asian Cold War divide, and sheds new light on the Korean and Vietnam wars. While recognizing clear differences between the Cold War and post-Cold War environments, he investigates how efforts to adjust burden-sharing roles among the United States and its Asian security partners have complicated U.S.-China security relations since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Download and read online Rethinking Europe s Future in PDF and EPUB Rethinking Europe's Future is a major reevaluation of Europe's prospects as it enters the twenty-first century. David Calleo has written a book worthy of the complexity and grandeur of the challenges Europe now faces. Summoning the insights of history, political economy, and philosophy, he explains why Europe was for a long time the world's greatest problem and how the Cold War's bipolar partition brought stability of a sort. Without the Cold War, Europe risks revisiting its more traditional history. With so many contingent factors--in particular Russia and Europe's Muslim neighbors--no one, Calleo believes, can pretend to predict the future with assurance. Calleo's book ponders how to think about this future. The book begins by considering the rival ''lessons'' and trends that emerge from Europe's deeper past. It goes on to discuss the theories for managing the traditional state system, the transition from autocratic states to communitarian nation states, the enduring strength of nation states, and their uneasy relationship with capitalism. Calleo next focuses on the Cold War's dynamic legacies for Europe--an Atlantic Alliance, a European Union, and a global economy. These three systems now compete to define the future. The book's third and major section examines how Europe has tried to meet the present challenges of Russian weakness and German reunification. Succeeding chapters focus on Maastricht and the Euro, on the impact of globalization on Europeanization, and on the EU's unfinished business--expanding into ''Pan Europe,'' adapting a hybrid constitution, and creating a new security system. Calleo presents three models of a new Europe--each proposing a different relationship with the U.S. and Russia. A final chapter probes how a strong European Union might affect the world and the prospects for American hegemony. This is a beautifully written book that offers rich insight into a critical moment in our history, whose outcome will shape the world long after our time.
Download and read online Age of System in PDF and EPUB Before the Second World War, social scientists struggled to define and defend their disciplines. After the war, "high modern" social scientists harnessed new resources in a quest to create a unified understanding of human behavior—and to remake the world in the image of their new model man. In Age of System, Hunter Heyck explains why social scientists—shaped by encounters with the ongoing "organizational revolution" and its revolutionary technologies of communication and control—embraced a new and extremely influential perspective on science and nature, one that conceived of all things in terms of system, structure, function, organization, and process. He also explores how this emerging unified theory of human behavior implied a troubling similarity between humans and machines, with freighted implications for individual liberty and self-direction. These social scientists trained a generation of decision-makers in schools of business and public administration, wrote the basic textbooks from which millions learned how the economy, society, polity, culture, and even the mind worked, and drafted the position papers, books, and articles that helped set the terms of public discourse in a new era of mass media, think tanks, and issue networks. Drawing on close readings of key texts and a broad survey of more than 1,800 journal articles, Heyck follows the dollars—and the dreams—of a generation of scholars that believed in "the system." He maps the broad landscape of changes in the social sciences, focusing especially intently on the ideas and practices associated with modernization theory, rational choice theory, and modeling. A highly accomplished historian, Heyck relays this complicated story with unusual clarity.
Download and read online Arming Mother Nature in PDF and EPUB Are today's environmental crises linked to the plans for World War Three? The United States and its allies prepared for a global struggle against the Soviet Union by using science to extend "total war" ideas to the natural environment. This book links environmental warfare to the environmental crises of the 1970s and beyond.