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The Pentagon of Power (The Myth of the Machine, Vol 2)

4.35 of 5 stars 4.35  ·  rating details  ·  78 ratings  ·  4 reviews
In this concluding volume of The Myth of the Machine, Mumford brings to a head his radical revisions of the stale popular conceptions of human and technological progress. Far from being an attack on science and technics, The Pentagon of Power seeks to establish a more organic social order based on technological resources. Index; photographs.
Paperback, 544 pages
Published March 20th 1974 by Mariner Books (first published 1970)
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Jan 21, 2008 Brian rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with a brain
The work of Lewis Mumford is incredible. This book is part two of a series, but I much prefer this one. He lays out some concepts that were formative for me and altered and/or greatly refined my outlook on life. His concept of megatechnics and the megamachine is astute. His view is well-rounded, if not a little dated, given his age at the time he was writing. But I have found in few other places such an exhaustive conceptual framework for what is happening in our world vis-a-vis technology. This ...more
Leon M
In the second part of Lewis Mumford's "Myth of the Machine", he sets out to explore the consequences of the rise of the new sun god science and give an alternative to what he calls the new megamachine - the new organum.

The book starts with Mumford tracing the mechanized world picture present in our society (according to him) back in history to such famous minds as Galileo and Descartes. He explains how these people started a movement that would once lead - without their knowledge - to the creati

supposed to be an overview of the history of technology, or "technics", except mumford focuses on ideas and beliefs basically the entire book.

he fails to grasp to any satisfactory degree the (actual) reasons behind the events he details, instead focusing almost exclusively on belief-systems as causation.

total lack of understanding of materialist cause-and-effect rationality, to a frustrating degree.
I just finished the Pentagon of Power. Mumford presents a broad overview of ancient and modern power relations and how this has lead to the Megamachine now engulfing the world. Still he thinks a renewal of life will rise from the rubble into which he sees we are now descending. His hope is in the purposeful life and its potentialities.
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Lewis Mumford (October 19, 1895 – January 26, 1990) was an American historian and philosopher of technology and science. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a tremendously broad career as a writer that also included a period as an influential literary critic. Mumford was influenced by the work of Scottish theorist Sir Patrick Geddes.
More about Lewis Mumford...
The City in History: Its Origins, Its Transformations, and Its Prospects Technics and Civilization Myth of the Machine: Technics and Human Development The Story of Utopias The Culture of Cities (Book 2)

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