Cover

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Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Preface

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pp. vii-xiv

My 1990 book, The Human Motor: Energy, Fatigue, and the Origins of Modernity (New York: Basic Books), revolves around the distinction between machines and motors as meta phors of the body at work. Modern productivism, I argue, presupposes that human society and nature are linked by the primacy and ultimate interchangeability of productive...

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1. From Mimetic Machines to Digital Organisms: The Transformation of the Human Motor

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pp. 1-27

Along with major shifts in the nature of industrial and postindustrial work at the beginning of the twenty- first century, there has also been a deep crisis of the metaphors mobilized to frame and embody the nature of what we call work. A new image of the symbiosis of body and machine has emerged which the historian...

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2. Social Energeticism in Fin-de-Siècle Europe

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pp. 28-52

In the second half of the nineteenth century, a series of sensational discoveries in the physical and biological sciences provided progressive reformers with a plethora of normative concepts that offered an apparently neutral and objective basis for promoting the ideal of a society that might ensure social harmony while guaranteeing...

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3. Social Knowledge and the Politics of Industrial Accidents

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pp. 53-90

The origin of modern Western European welfare states is closely linked to two novel ideas that gained enormous prestige during the last two decades of the nineteenth century: The idea that an expansion of the concept of rights to include the obligations of society toward the individual reduces or minimizes risk and in equality, and the idea...

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4. Neurasthenia and Modernity

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pp. 91-99

In his pioneering work American Nervousness (1881), the New York physician George Miller Beard identified the modernity of “neurasthenia” with an analogy: “Men, like batteries, need a reserve force, and men, like batteries, need to be measured by the amount of this reserve, and not by what they are compelled...

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5. Psychotechnics and Politics in Weimar Germany: The Case of Otto Lipmann

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pp. 100-124

Academic or quasi- academic subdisciplines and professions with applied or practical interests regarding labor (such as industrial physiology, industrial medicine, industrial psychology, and industrial sociology) emerged in almost all European countries after World War I. Industrial psychology, in particular— although rooted...

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6. The Aesthetics of Production in the Third Reich

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pp. 125-152

During the Third Reich, the utopia of labor took the form of a systematic attempt to legitimize political rule through aesthetic symbolization. Aesthetics and politics were integrated not only in mass festivals and public architecture, but in the sphere of production as well.1 The attempt to legitimize political rule through aesthetic symbolization...

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7. Metaphors of the Machine in the Post-Fordist Era

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pp. 153-174

During a flare-up of chronic anxiety over the alleged lack of the productivity of American workers, one commentator admitted in 1992 that “The work ethic may be slipping. But laziness isn’t the reason; alienation is.” Significantly, this remark appeared in the Wall Street Journal. The crisis of productivity, the author contended, was not due to any decline...

Notes

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pp. 175-216

Index

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pp. 217-234