Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940” as Want to Read:
Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Electrifying America: Social Meanings of a New Technology, 1880-1940

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  60 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
How did electricity enter everyday life in America? Using Muncie, Indiana -- the Lynds' now iconic Middletown -- as a touchstone, David Nye explores how electricity seeped into and redefined American culture. With an eye for telling details from archival sources and a broad understanding of cultural and social history, he creates a thought-provoking panorama of a technolog ...more
Paperback, 496 pages
Published July 8th 1992 by MIT Press (first published 1990)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Electrifying America, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Electrifying America

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 143)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mark Bowles
Aug 30, 2014 Mark Bowles rated it it was amazing
A. Synopsis: This book traces the development of electrification in the US from 1880 to 1940. Nye focuses on five distinct stages; street and commercial lighting (1880s), streetcars (1888), factories (middle 1890s), domestic (after 1910), and farms (after 1935). Throughout these stages Nye is concerned with the general publics conception of the meaning of electrification (ex. A belief in a utopian future). “Electrifying” was both a process and an attribute. America understood the electricity as ...more
Sara Watson
Feb 19, 2014 Sara Watson rated it really liked it
Very interesting social history of the adoption of electrification in America. Serves as a nice historical parallel to social science treatments of domestication of technologies in everyday life, here looking at the influence of electricity on the city and transportation, the factory, and home life. Nye tries to explain the social contexts in which technologies are taken on and how those contexts shape the technological system (social determinism) but he can't escape the argument that electricit ...more
Jay
May 28, 2013 Jay marked it as unfinished
Shelves: school, own
Sections of this book were required for a History of Energy course that I took for the Spring 2013 semester, but I had planned to finish the rest of it regardless because I hate to leave something like that unfinished. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough room to bring them back from college, so they were sold before I was able to complete them.
Alan
Feb 05, 2008 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of those books that you read in school, and you remember it opening your eyes a bit. I deal a lot with technology, and this book made it very clear that inserting technology into the human experience is not always for the best. Good things happen, but there is always a price.

Robert Bryce
Jun 24, 2009 Robert Bryce rated it liked it
The descriptions in this book of the first days of electric light are worth the price of the book. A bit wonky at times, but a good history of electricity -- a commodity that we take for granted.
BookDB
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 17, 2016
Amy Hengst
Amy Hengst marked it as to-read
Sep 05, 2016
Marc
Marc marked it as to-read
Aug 16, 2016
Tom
Tom added it
Aug 03, 2016
Bill Kte'pi
Bill Kte'pi marked it as to-read
May 14, 2016
Justin LaMont
Justin LaMont marked it as to-read
May 13, 2016
Elise
Elise marked it as to-read
Mar 18, 2016
Carl Lew
Carl Lew marked it as to-read
Mar 03, 2016
Kim
Kim marked it as to-read
Feb 23, 2016
Adrienne
Adrienne rated it liked it
Feb 23, 2016
Stan Bobbitt
Stan Bobbitt rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Jeff
Jeff rated it liked it
Feb 21, 2016
Caroline Going
Caroline Going marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2016
Jan
Jan marked it as to-read
Feb 15, 2016
Steve
Steve added it
Feb 11, 2016
Ali Elbeshbishy
Ali Elbeshbishy marked it as to-read
Feb 09, 2016
Picaflor
Picaflor rated it it was ok
Feb 04, 2016
Matthew
Matthew marked it as to-read
Jan 29, 2016
Orhan Doğan
Orhan Doğan marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2016
Sarah
Sarah rated it really liked it
Jan 10, 2016
Pathik Patel
Pathik Patel marked it as to-read
Jan 10, 2016
Brad
Brad marked it as to-read
Dec 25, 2015
Peter Magner
Peter Magner marked it as to-read
Dec 19, 2015
Omar
Omar marked it as to-read
Nov 29, 2015
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
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
More about David E. Nye...

Share This Book