Call Boomerang Books 1300 36 33 32

Get Latest Book News + FREE Shipping. Subscribe to the Boomerang Books Bulletin eNewsletter right now!

Description - Constructing a Bridge by Eda Kranakis

If it is true, as Tocqueville suggested, that social and class systems shape technology, research and knowledge, then the effects should be visible both at the individual level and at the level of technical institutions and local environments. That is the central issue addressed in "Constructing a Bridge", a tale of two cultures that investigates how national traditions shape technological communities and their institutions and become embedded in everyday engineering practice. Eda Kranakis first examines these issues in the work of two suspension bridge designers of the early 19th century: the American inventor James Finley and the French engineer Claude-Louis-Marie-Henri Navier. Finley - who was oriented toward the needs of rural, frontier communities - designed a bridge that could be easily reproduced and constructed by carpenters and blacksmiths. Navier - whose professional training and career reflected a tradition of monumental architecture and had linked him closely to the Parisian scientific community - designed an elegant, costly, and technically sophisticated structure to be built in an elite district of Paris. Charting the careers of these two technologists and tracing the stories of their bridges, Kranakis reveals how local environments can shape design goals, research practices and design-to-construction processes. Kranakis then offers a broader look at the technological communities and institutions of 19th-century France and America and at their ties to technological practice. She shows how conditions that led to Finley's and Navier's distinct designs also fostered different systems of technical education as well as distinct ideologies and traditions of engineering research. The result of this two-tiered, comparative approach is a reorientation of a historiographic tradition initiated by Tocqueville (and explored more recently by Eugene Ferguson, John Kasson and others) toward a finer-grained analysis of institutional and local environments as mediators between national traditions and individual styles of technological research and design.

Buy Constructing a Bridge by Eda Kranakis from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9780262112178
ISBN-10: 0262112175
Format: Hardback
(229mm x 127mm x 33mm)
Pages: 448
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 15-Nov-1996
Country of Publication: United States

Book Reviews - Constructing a Bridge by Eda Kranakis

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Constructing a Bridge book by Eda Kranakis and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a Boomerang Books Account Holder - it's free to sign up and there are great benefits!)

Write Review


Author Biography - Eda Kranakis

Eda Kranakis is Professor of History at the University of Ottawa and the author of Constructing a Bridge: An Exploration of Engineering Culture, Design, and Research in Nineteenth-Century France and America (MIT Press, 1997).

Books By Eda Kranakis

Cosmopolitan Commons by Eda Kranakis
Paperback, June 2013
$57.60