Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Creating the 20th Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact” as Want to Read:
Creating the 20th Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Creating the 20th Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact

4.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  60 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
The period between 1867 and 1914 remains the greatest watershed in human history since the emergence of settled agricultural societies: the time when an expansive civilization based on synergy of fuels, science, and technical innovation was born. At its beginnings in the 1870s were dynamite, the telephone, photographic film, and the first light bulbs. Its peak decade - the ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Oxford University Press, USA (first published January 1st 2004)
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 Creating the 20th Century, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Creating the 20th Century

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Cost of Hope by Amanda   BennettDeng Xiaoping and the Transformation of China by Ezra F. VogelPoor Economics by Abhijit V. BanerjeeEinstein by Walter Isaacson
The Bill Gates Booklist
29th out of 144 books — 58 voters
An Environmental History of Northeast Florida by James J. MillerMeltdown in Tibet by Michael  BuckleyChanges in the Land by William CrononThe Columbian Exchange by Alfred W. CrosbyFuture Arctic by Edward Struzik
Environmental History
16th out of 19 books — 3 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 477)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dan
Mar 24, 2014 Dan rated it really liked it
I have very mixed feelings about this very absorbing book about the development of electric power transmission, internal combustion motors, new chemical processes, and telephone and radio in the period from 1865 to 1914.

Smil is a great story-teller, weaving in technical details about the individual inventions with the broader picture of overwhelming and rapid technological change. (But he assumes a fairly high level of technical knowledge going in -- for example he gives a great explanation of
...more
Clogs
Mar 28, 2016 Clogs rated it really liked it
A facilitating read but also a very deep and long read. This is not a page turner. A deep look at the technical advances that made the modern world.

An actual quiet fascinating book. I've found that I've been talking about lots of the ideas me outcomes of the book at social events recently. It's super geeky, but works. People seem to be interested.

It's a fairly fascinating review of the drivers of change bin our society through the lens of technology - however smil would never use the word tech
...more
Joe Q.
Jul 05, 2015 Joe Q. rated it liked it
"Creating The 20th Century" provides an overview of the technical innovations of the period roughly from 1867 to 1914, arguing that a unique confluence of inventive activity, patent prosecution, and prompt commercialization led to a highly synergistic transformation of daily life during this period that has no prior parallel.

The author's case is persuasively argued and the book makes for a very interesting, if sometimes plodding, read. Technically oriented people who are not themselves mechanica
...more
Bart
Dec 02, 2014 Bart rated it really liked it
A great book, which goes a long way to dispelling the myth of "ever-accelerating technological change". Smil clearly elucidates something I've long believed: that my grandparents went through far more dramatic changes in lifestyle due to technology than my generation has experienced. Unfortunately, many of the illustrations (primarily drawings from patent applications) are cryptic and not very helpful;; but fortunately, Smil's explanations are clear enough that the illustrations are seldom essen ...more
Mattila
May 03, 2016 Mattila rated it really liked it
Informative, structured, well-researched and nicely annotated with illustrations.
Eric
Eric marked it as to-read
Jul 26, 2016
Corey Crosby
Corey Crosby marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2016
Pablo Castillo
Pablo Castillo marked it as to-read
Jul 19, 2016
Kishore
Kishore marked it as to-read
Jul 17, 2016
Catherine Burke
Catherine Burke marked it as to-read
Jul 15, 2016
Matt
Matt rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2016
Colm Dooney
Colm Dooney marked it as to-read
Jul 11, 2016
Ryan
Ryan marked it as to-read
Jul 05, 2016
Vincenz
Vincenz marked it as to-read
Jul 01, 2016
Alexander
Alexander marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2016
Julien
Julien marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2016
Ben Richardson
Ben Richardson marked it as to-read
Jun 24, 2016
Andy Liszewski
Andy Liszewski marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2016
Fil Carvalho
Fil Carvalho marked it as to-read
Jun 06, 2016
Patrick
Patrick marked it as to-read
May 29, 2016
Katy Bloom
Katy Bloom marked it as to-read
May 28, 2016
Minto Tsai
Minto Tsai marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Andrew Kangpan
Andrew Kangpan marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Alexander Varchenko
Alexander Varchenko marked it as to-read
May 23, 2016
Fırat Ergül
Fırat Ergül marked it as to-read
May 22, 2016
Corey
Corey marked it as to-read
May 14, 2016
Alice
Alice marked it as to-read
May 10, 2016
Alexandre
Alexandre marked it as to-read
May 10, 2016
Connor Oswald
Connor Oswald marked it as to-read
May 09, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 15 16 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America
  • To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure
  • The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900
  • The Creation of the Media: Political Origins of Modern Communications
  • The Grid: A Journey Through the Heart of Our Electrified World
  • The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation
  • Broken Genius: The Rise and Fall of William Shockley, Creator of the Electronic Age
  • Sustainable Energy - Without the Hot Air
  • The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century
  • The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention
  • Lucy's Bones, Sacred Stones & Einstein's Brain : The Remarkable Stories Behind the Great Objects and Artifacts of History from Antiquity to The Modern Era
  • AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War
  • Dreams Of Speaking
  • Myth of the Machine: Technics and Human Development
  • Voyager: Seeking Newer Worlds in the Third Great Age of Discovery
  • The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking
  • Big Disconnect: The Story of Technology and Loneliness
  • The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth
5003

Vaclav Smil does interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment, and public policy.

He has published 35 books and more than 400 papers on these topics. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), and the
...more
More about Vaclav Smil...

Share This Book