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Rescuing Prometheus

Four Monumental Projects that Changed Our World

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
"A rare insight into industrial planning on a huge scale...Excellent." --The Economist

Rescuing Prometheus is an eye-opening and marvelously informative look at some of the technological projects that helped shape the modern world.  Thomas P. Hughes focuses on four postwar projects whose vastness and complexity inspired new technology, new organizations, and new management styles.  The first use of computers to run systems was developed for the SAGE air defense project.  The Atlas missile project was so complicated it required the development of systems engineering in order to complete it.  The Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project tested systems engineering in the complex crucible of a large scale civilian roadway.  And finally, the origins of the Internet fostered the collegial management style that later would take over Silicon Valley and define the modern computer industry.  With keen insight, Hughes tells these fascinating stories while providing a riveting history of modern technology and the management systems that made it possible.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Show less
"A rare insight into industrial planning on a huge scale...Excellent." --The Economist

Rescuing Prometheus is an eye-opening and marvelously informative look at some of the technological projects that helped shape the modern world.  Thomas P. Hughes focuses on four postwar projects whose vastness and complexity inspired new technology, new organizations, and new management styles.  The first use of computers to run systems was developed for the SAGE air defense project.  The Atlas missile project was so complicated it required the development of systems engineering in order to complete it.  The Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project tested systems engineering in the complex crucible of a large scale civilian roadway.  And finally, the origins of the Internet fostered the collegial management style that later would take over Silicon Valley and define the modern computer industry.  With keen insight, Hughes tells these fascinating stories while providing a riveting history of modern technology and the management systems that made it possible.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
Product Details
Paperback (384 pages)
Published: March 14, 2000
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780679739388
Other books byThomas P. Hughes
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    The Social Construction of Technological Systems

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    This pioneering book, first published in 1987, launched the new field of social studies of technology. It introduced a method of inquiry--social construction of technology, or SCOT--that became a key part of the wider discipline of science and technology studies. The book helped the MIT Press shape its STS list and inspired the Inside Technology series. The thirteen essays in the book tell stories about such varied technologies as thirteenth-century galleys, eighteenth-century cooking stoves, and twentieth-century missile systems. Taken together, they affirm the fruitfulness of an approach to the study of technology that gives equal weight to technical, social, economic, and political questions, and they demonstrate the illuminating effects of the integration of empirics and theory. The approaches in this volume--collectively called SCOT (after the volume's title) have since broadened their scope, and twenty-five years after the publication of this book, it is difficult to think of a technology that has not been studied from a SCOT perspective and impossible to think of a technology that cannot be studied that way.

    The Development of Large Technical Systems

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