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Machines as the Measure of Men

Science, Technology, and Ideologies of Western Dominance

by Michael Adas

Over the past five centuries, advances in Western understanding of and control over the material world have strongly influenced European responses to non-Western peoples and cultures. In Machines as the Measure of Men, Michael Adas explores the ways in which European perceptions of their scientific and technological superiority shaped their interactions with people overseas. Adopting a broad, comparative perspective, he analyzes European responses to the cultures of sub-Saharan Africa, India, and China, cultures that they judged to represent lower levels of material mastery and social organization.

Beginning with the early decades of overseas expansion in the sixteenth century, Adas traces the impact of scientific and technological advances on European attitudes toward Asians and Africans and on their policies for dealing with colonized societies. He concentrates on British and French thinking in the nineteenth century, when, he maintains, scientific and technological measures of human worth played a critical role in shaping arguments for the notion of racial supremacy and the "civilizing mission" ideology which were used to justify Europe's domination of the globe. Finally, he examines the reasons why many Europeans grew dissatisfied with and even rejected this gauge of human worth after World War I, and explains why it has remained important to Americans.

Showing how the scientific and industrial revolutions contributed to the development of European imperialist ideologies, Machines as the Measure of Men highlights the cultural factors that have nurtured disdain for non-Western accomplishments and value systems. It also indicates how these attitudes, in shaping policies that restricted the diffusion of scientific knowledge, have perpetuated themselves, and contributed significantly to chronic underdevelopment throughout the developing world. Adas's far-reaching and provocative book will be compelling reading for all who are concerned about the history of Western imperialism and its legacies.

First published to wide acclaim in 1989, Machines as the Measure of Men is now available in a new edition that features a preface by the author that discusses how subsequent developments in gender and race studies, as well as global technology and politics, enter into conversation with his original arguments.

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Machines in Our Hearts

The Cardiac Pacemaker, the Implantable Defibrillator, and American Health Care

Kirk Jeffrey

Today hundreds of thousands of Americans carry pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) within their bodies. These battery-powered machines—small computers, in fact—deliver electricity to the heart to correct dangerous disorders of the heartbeat. But few doctors, patients, or scholars know the history of these devices or how "heart-rhythm management" evolved into a multi-billion-dollar manufacturing and service industry. Machines in Our Hearts tells the story of these two implantable medical devices. Kirk Jeffrey, a historian of science and technology, traces the development of knowledge about the human heartbeat and follows surgeons, cardiologists, and engineers as they invent and test a variety of electronic devices. Numerous small manufacturing firms jumped into pacemaker production but eventually fell by the wayside, leaving only three American companies in the business today. Jeffrey profiles pioneering heart surgeons, inventors from the realms of engineering and medical research, and business leaders who built heart-rhythm management into an industry with thousands of employees and annual revenues in the hundreds of millions. As Jeffrey shows, the pacemaker (first implanted in 1958) and the ICD (1980) embody a paradox of high-tech health care: these technologies are effective and reliable but add billions to the nation's medical bill because of the huge growth in the number of patients who depend on implanted devices to manage their heartbeats.

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Machinic Eros

Writings on Japan

Félix Guattari

The French philosopher Félix Guattari frequently visited Japan during the 1980s and organized exchanges between French and Japanese artists and intellectuals. His immersion into the “machinic eros” of Japanese culture put him into contact with media theorists such as Tetsuo Kogawa and activists within the mini-FM community (Radio Home Run), documentary filmmakers (Mitsuo Sato), photographers (Keiichi Tahara), novelists (Kobo Abe), internationally recognized architects (Shin Takamatsu), and dancers (Min Tanaka). From pachinko parlors to high-rise highways, alongside corporate suits and among alt-culture comrades, Guattari put himself into the thick of Japanese becomings during a period in which the bubble economy continued to mutate. This collection of essays, interviews, and longer meditations shows a radical thinker exploring the architectural environment of Japan’s “machinic eros.”

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The Maciste Films of Italian Silent Cinema

Jacqueline Reich

Italian film star Bartolomeo Pagano's "Maciste" played a key role in his nation’s narratives of identity during World War I and after. Jacqueline Reich traces the racial, class, and national transformations undergone by this Italian strongman from African slave in Cabiria (1914), his first film, to bourgeois gentleman, to Alpine soldier of the Great War, to colonial officer in Italy's African adventures. Reich reveals Maciste as a figure who both reflected classical ideals of masculine beauty and virility (later taken up by Mussolini and used for political purposes) and embodied the model Italian citizen. The 12 films at the center of the book, recently restored and newly accessible to a wider public, together with relevant extra-cinematic materials, provide a rich resource for understanding the spread of discourses on masculinity, and national and racial identities during a turbulent period in Italian history. The volume includes an illustrated appendix documenting the restoration and preservation of these cinematic treasures.

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Maclure of New Harmony

Scientist, Progressive Educator, Radical Philanthropist

Leonard Warren

Maclure of New Harmony follows the twists and turns of William Maclure's intriguing life. A native Scotsman, Maclure (1763--1840) became a merchant, made a fortune, and retired in his early thirties. Then his life became interesting. Fascinated by the study of geology, Maclure did fieldwork throughout Europe before traveling to the United States, where he completed the first geological survey of his adopted nation and published a detailed, color geological map -- one reason he is known as the Father of American Geology.

Maclure's travels sharpened his convictions about social justice and led him to a life of social radicalism. He founded progressive schools to educate the children of the working classes and, in 1820, he joined forces with Robert Owen to found New Harmony -- the utopian community in Indiana. Ever restless, Maclure later moved to Mexico, where he watched his hopes for the new republic founder.

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Macroanalysis

Digital Methods and Literary History

Matthew L. Jockers

In this volume, Matthew L. Jockers introduces readers to large-scale literary computing and the revolutionary potential of macroanalysis--a new approach to the study of the literary record designed for probing the digital-textual world as it exists today, in digital form and in large quantities. Using computational analysis to retrieve key words, phrases, and linguistic patterns across thousands of texts in digital libraries, researchers can draw conclusions based on quantifiable evidence regarding how literary trends are employed over time, across periods, within regions, or within demographic groups, as well as how cultural, historical, and societal linkages may bind individual authors, texts, and genres into an aggregate literary culture.

Moving beyond the limitations of literary interpretation based on the "close-reading" of individual works, Jockers describes how this new method of studying large collections of digital material can help us to better understand and contextualize the individual works within those collections.

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Macroeconomics in Times of Liquidity Crises

Searching for Economic Essentials

Guillermo A. Calvo

Since the subprime mortgage crisis that began in 2007, advanced economies have felt a nagging sense of insecurity. In parallel, the profession has witnessed phenomena that are alien to mainstream macroeconomic models. Financial crises are systemic, occurring simultaneously in different economies. In this book, Guillermo Calvo focuses on liquidity factors as a commonality in financial crises. Specifically, he examines the role of “liquidity crunch” in triggering crises. He also identifies a fundamental (but overlooked) idea in Keynes’s General Theory, termed by Calvo the price theory of money, to rationalize the resiliency of the U.S. dollar when other dollar-backed assets suffered a devastating liquidity crunch. Calvo shows that a sharp focus on liquidity reveals some characteristics of liquid assets that are easy to miss otherwise. He argues for liquidity’s centrality, presenting what he calls the Liquidity Approach. He shows that simple extensions of standard monetary models help rationalize the implications of the liquidity crunch, and then examines slightly more technical models that highlight liquidity issues. He explores the empirical effects of liquidity crunch by studying systemic system stops (of capital inflows), presuming that they are triggered by liquidity crunch-type phenomena.

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The Macropolitics of Congress

E. Scott Adler

How do public laws, treaties, Senate confirmations, and other legislative achievements help us to gain insight into how our governmental system performs?

This well-argued book edited by Scott Adler and John Lapinski is the first to assess our political institutions by looking at what the authors refer to as legislative accomplishment. The book moves beyond current research on Congress that focuses primarily on rules, internal structure, and the microbehavior of individual lawmakers, to look at the mechanisms that govern how policy is enacted and implemented in the United States. It includes essays on topics ranging from those dealing with the microfoundations of congressional output, to large N empirical analyses that assess current theories of lawmaking, to policy-centered case studies.

All of the chapters take a Congress-centered perspective on macropolicy while still appreciating the importance of other branches of government in explaining policy accomplishment. The Macropolitics of Congress shines light on promising pathways for the exploration of such key issues as the nature of political representation. It will make a significant contribution to the study of Congress and, more generally, to our understanding of American politics. Contributors include E. Scott Adler, David Brady, Charles M. Cameron, Brandice Canes-Wrone, Robert S. Erikson, Grace R. Freedman, Valerie Heitshusen, John D. Huber, Ira Katznelson, Keith Krehbiel, John S. Lapinski, David Leblang, Michael B. MacKuen, David R. Mayhew, Nolan McCarty, Charles R. Shipan, James A. Stimson, and Garry Young.

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Mad at School

Rhetorics of Mental Disability and Academic Life

Margaret Price

A very important study that will appeal to a disability studies audience as well as scholars in social movements, social justice, critical pedagogy, literacy education, professional development for disability and learning specialists in access centers and student counseling centers, as well as the broader domains of sociology and education. ---Melanie Panitch, Ryerson University "Ableism is alive and well in higher education. We do not know how to abandon the myth of the 'pure (ivory) tower that props up and is propped up by ableist ideology.' . . . Mad at School is thoroughly researched and pathbreaking. . . . The author's presentation of her own experience with mental illness is woven throughout the text with candor and eloquence." ---Linda Ware, State University of New York at Geneseo Mad at School explores the contested boundaries between disability, illness, and mental illness in the setting of U.S. higher education. Much of the research and teaching within disability studies assumes a disabled body but a rational and energetic (an "agile") mind. In Mad at School, scholar and disabilities activist Margaret Price asks: How might our education practices change if we understood disability to incorporate the disabled mind? Mental disability (more often called "mental illness") is a topic of fast-growing interest in all spheres of American culture, including popular, governmental, aesthetic, and academic. Mad at School is a close study of the ways that mental disabilities impact academic culture. Investigating spaces including classrooms, faculty meeting rooms, and job searches, Price challenges her readers to reconsider long-held values of academic life, including productivity, participation, security, and independence. Ultimately, she argues that academic discourse both produces and is produced by a tacitly privileged "able mind," and that U.S. higher education would benefit from practices that create a more accessible academic world. Mad at School is the first book to use a disability-studies perspective to focus specifically on the ways that mental disabilities impact academic culture at institutions of higher education. Individual chapters examine the language used to denote mental disability; the role of "participation" and "presence" in student learning; the role of "collegiality" in faculty work; the controversy over "security" and free speech that has arisen in the wake of recent school shootings; and the marginalized status of independent scholars with mental disabilities. Margaret Price is Associate Professor of English at Spelman College.

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