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Making Europe

Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels

The People Who Shaped Europe

Authors: Oldenziel, Ruth, Hård, M.

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About this book

Who has decided how Europeans have dressed and dwelled? Traveled and dined? Worked and played? Who, in fact, can be credited with the shaping of Europe?

Certainly inventors, engineers, and politicians played their parts. But in the making of Europe, consumers, tinkerers, and rebels were an unrecognized force - until now. In this book, historians Ruth Oldenziel and Mikael Hård spotlight the people who 'made' Europe - by appropriating technology, protesting for and against it. Using examples from Britain and the Continent, the authors illustrate the conflicts that accompanied the modern technologies, from the sewing machine to the bicycle, the Barbie doll to personal computers. What emerges is a fascinating portrait of how Europeans have lived, from the 1850s to the current century.

About the authors

Ruth Oldenziel is Full Professor in American and European History at the Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands. Her publications include books and articles in American, European, gender, and technology studies: 'Islands' (in Entangled Geographies edited Gabriel Hecht MIT 2011) Cold War Kitchen (MIT, 2009 co-edited with Karin Zachmann); Making Technology Masculine: (AUP 1999); 'Boys and their Toys in America' (Technology and Culture 1997).
 
Mikael Hård is Full Professor of History of Technology at Darmstadt University of Technology, Germany. His publications include Hubris and Hybrids: A Cultural History of Technology and Science (Routledge 2005; co-written with Andrew Jamison) and Urban Machinery: Inside Modern European Cities (MIT Press 2008; co-edited with Thomas J. Misa).

Reviews

"In this entertaining fusion of social and technological history, Ruth Oldenziel and Mikael Hård argue that much of Europe's contemporary culture was created from below after 1850, as active consumers tinkered with and appropriated both machines and processes to change the ways that they worked, traveled, communicated, dressed, and ate. Not politicians or generals but consumers have increasingly shaped the experiences that define what it means to be European." - David E. Nye, author of Technology Matters and America's Assembly Line

"From cycling to the internet, and from Magdeburg to Milan, this rich comparative study reveals how attention to users and the social construction of technology can illuminate the history of modern Europe" - Frank Trentmann, author of Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives (with John Brewer)

"...an engaging, beautifully illustrated history of Europe's technological inventions, crafts, design, and gadgetry over the last two centuries, but especially of the peoples of Europe - as train riders, sewing machine operators, bicyclists, radio hobbyists, home-makers, hobbyists, and computer mavens. Wide in scope, profound in its questions about the multiplicity of European ways of living, it is also timely background for considering the impact on European technology and craft of global cyber-innovation and the new environment of global manufacturing." - Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University
 
"Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels is an impressive achievement. Prioritizing the humble and mundane material culture and positioning consumers and users as The People Who Shaped Europe is a bold and provocative move in a field where the master narratives at least have been dominated by great inventors and entrepreneurs, spectacular innovations and heavy technology. An equally important feature of the book, which is also deeply embedded in the Tensions of Europe network, is the remarkably
broad geographical coverage. Although both authors are North-West Europeans, they have accomplished an outstandingly balanced treatment of west versus east, north versus south and large versus small. Design historians would do well to consult Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels, both as an example of how transnational history can be written, but also as proof of the potential relevance of design history to a broader academic community." - Journal of Design History

"In this entertaining fusion of social and technological history, Ruth Oldenziel and Mikael Hård argue that much of Europe's contemporary culture was created from below after 1850, as active consumers tinkered with and appropriated both machines and processes to change the ways that they worked, traveled, communicated, dressed, and ate. Not politicians or generals but consumers have increasingly shaped the experiences that define what it means to be European." - David E. Nye, author of Technology Matters and America's Assembly Line

"From cycling to the internet, and from Magdeburg to Milan, this rich comparative study reveals how attention to users and the social construction of technology can illuminate the history of modern Europe" - Frank Trentmann, author of Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives (with John Brewer)

"...an engaging, beautifully illustrated history of Europe's technological inventions, crafts, design, and gadgetry over the last two centuries, but especially of the peoples of Europe - as train riders, sewing machine operators, bicyclists, radio hobbyists, home-makers, hobbyists, and computer mavens. Wide in scope, profound in its questions about the multiplicity of European ways of living, it is also timely background for considering the impact on European technology and craft of global cyber-innovation and the new environment of global manufacturing." - Victoria de Grazia, Columbia University

 

"Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels is an impressive achievement. Prioritizing the humble and mundane material culture and positioning consumers and users as The People Who Shaped Europe is a bold and provocative move in a field where the master narratives at least have been dominated by great inventors and entrepreneurs, spectacular innovations and heavy technology. An equally important feature of the book, which is also deeply embedded in the Tensions of Europe network, is the remarkably

broad geographical coverage. Although both authors are North-West Europeans, they have accomplished an outstandingly balanced treatment of west versus east, north versus south and large versus small. Design historians would do well to consult Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels, both as an example of how transnational history can be written, but also as proof of the potential relevance of design history to a broader academic community." - Journal of Design History

Buy this book

Hardcover $105.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-0-230-30801-5
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Online orders shipping within 2-3 days.

Services for this book

Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Consumers, Tinkerers, Rebels
Book Subtitle
The People Who Shaped Europe
Authors
Series Title
Making Europe
Copyright
2013
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited
Hardcover ISBN
978-0-230-30801-5
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXII, 417
Topics