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Consuming Power: A Soc...
David E. Nye
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Consuming Power: A Social History of American Energies

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  34 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
Nye uses energy as a touchstone to examine the lives of ordinary people engaged in normal activities.
ebook, 0 pages
Published October 17th 1997 by MIT Press (first published 1997)
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Apr 10, 2013 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Essentially, Consuming Power examines the way American choices regarding technology -- specifically, which technologies to use, and in which ways -- shape society. It's short for the timespan it covers, but dense; the word muscular comes to mind. Nye wastes no words: : every sentence carries with it the meat of facts or analysis. He has grievances with those who believe certain technologies always have particular effects on society, like the introduction of the automobile leading to a society wh ...more
Mohammad Jalali
I liked how Nye reviews the history of energy systems and talks about “technological momentum”. It was interesting how he connects them to social constructions and culture and then discusses how the US became the greatest power-consuming nation in history.

Though the way he looks at the history of energy use in the 19th century can be hardly fit with more complex situations in the 20th century, but his book gave me some ideas to think about the roots of current social constructions that demand en
Jun 02, 2013 Jay marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: school
We were given a few selections from this book in my History of Energy course this past spring semester (2013). Since we didn't read the complete book, I can hardly comment on it as a whole, but what we did read was both informative and enjoyable. Since we also read Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940, I think that I can also safely say that I enjoy Mr. Nye's writing style, though. For this reason, his books were definitely better to read than some of the other bo ...more
Apr 29, 2008 Claire rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: energy-policy
Lots of interesting facts in this book but it's a slog to get through. I read it for my energy bookclub and skimmed a lot of parts b/c it was too tedious. Good information though.
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David E. Nye is Professor of American History at the University of Southern Denmark. The winner of the 2005 Leonardo da Vinci Medal of the Society for the History of Technology, he is the author of Image Worlds: Corporate Identities at General Electric, 1890-1930 (1985), Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940 (1990), American Technological Sublime (1994), Consuming Po ...more
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