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Description - War, Technology and Experience Aboard the USS "Monitor" by David A. Mindell

The USS "Monitor" battled the CSS "Virginia" at Hampton Roads in April, 1862. This text explores how mariners - fighting "blindly" beneath the waterline - lived and coped with the metal monster they called "the iron coffin". Combining technical, personal, administrative and literay analysis, David Mindell examines the experience of the men aboard the "Monitor" and their reactions to the thrills and dangers that accompanied the new machine. The invention surrounded men with iron and threatened their heroism, their self-image as warriors, even their lives. Mindell also examines responses to this strange new warship by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville, who prophetically saw in the Civil War a portent of the mechanized warfare of the future. The story of the "Monitor" shows how technology changes not only the tools but also the very experience of combat, generating effects that are still felt in the modern-day era of "smart bombs" and "push-button wars".

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801862502
ISBN-10: 0801862507
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Pages: 200
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 24-Mar-2000
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - David A. Mindell

David A. Mindell is Dibner Associate Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing in the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at MIT. He has degrees in Electrical Engineering and Literature from Yale University and a Ph.D. in the History of Technology from MIT. His research interests include the history of military technology, the history of electronics and computing, and archaeology in the deep ocean. He is currently working on a history of feedback, control, and computing in the twentieth century, and on locating and imaging ancient shipwrecks and settlements in the deep regions of the Black Sea.

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