Describes the laying of a cable across the Atlantic Ocean in 1866, exploring the physical, financial, and technological challenges of the project and assessing the impact of the cable on the course of twentieth-century history.
"A treasure of a book."—David McCullough A New York Times Notable Book America's first frontier was not the West; it was the sea, and no one writes more eloquently about that watery wilderness than Nathaniel Philbrick. In his bestselling In the Heart of the Sea Philbrick probed the nightmarish dangers of the vast Pacific. Now, in an epic sea adventure, he writes about one of the most ambitious voyages of discovery the Western world has ever seen—the U.S. Exploring Expedition of 1838–1842. On a scale that dwarfed the journey of Lewis and Clark, six magnificent sailing vessels and a crew of hundreds set out to map the entire Pacific Ocean and ended up naming the newly discovered continent of Antarctica, collecting what would become the basis of the Smithsonian Institution. Combining spellbinding human drama and meticulous research, Philbrick reconstructs the dark saga of the voyage to show why, instead of being celebrated and revered as that of Lewis and Clark, it has—until now—been relegated to a footnote in the national memory. Winner of the Theodore and Franklin D. Roosevelt Naval History Prize
Communication in Modern Social Ordering investigates the modern history of communication in relation to the thinking of the political community in the United States. By illustrating the intertwining of the technological developments in communication methods and its community-building effects, the different representations of society and their political implications are examined against the development of communication systems from the telegraph, to the telephone, to computer networks. It was the telegraph that made communication a continual process, thus freeing it from the rhythmical motion of the postal service and from physical transportation in general, and provided both a model and a mechanism of control. Using the theories of both Foucault and Heidegger to provide a lens for new investigation, the author studies not the meanings of communication and its logic as such but rather the conditions and structures that allow meanings and logic to be formulated in the first place. The book offers an original combination of historical analysis with an ontological discussion of the evolution of telecommunications in the U.S. as a phenomenon of modern social ordering.
What makes a magazine in South Africa promote Scandinavian unity among its immigrant readers and why does a Swedish king endorse attempts to influence pan-Scandinavian opinion through a transnational media event in Sweden, Norway and Denmark? Can portraits of exotic Lapplanders in the British press, enthusiastic accounts of the welfare state in post-war travel literature and descriptions of the liberal Nordic woman as a metaphor for a freer society in Franco Spain really be bundled together under a joint label of 'Nordicness'? How is it that despite the variety of images of the Nordic region that are circulating, we still find this recurring idea of a shared Nordic identity? These are some of the questions the current volume seeks to answer. Covering the time period from the early nineteenth century up until the present and encompassing case studies from Britain, Spain, Poland, and South Africa, as well as from the Nordic countries, contributors to the volume investigate the images that have been presented of the Nordic region in the media in and outside of the Nordic countries, how such images have been shaped by mechanisms of mediation, and the channels through which they have been distributed. The chapters address both specific cases such as media events and individual publications, as well as the structural and institutional settings for mediating the Nordic region.
The process of globalization has brought about countless changes in societies, communities, regions and economies across the globe. It has been analyzed from many perspectives as a result and much has been written to muddy the waters of our understanding of this important concept. In going back to the real origins of the global economy, this book demonstrates that understanding this phenomenon as a, 'battle against time' will bring a new clarity to the subject. The process of globalization was accompanied by the mastering of ‘social time’, thereby producing a progressive increase in the speed of business transactions, both in manufacturing and in services. The context is the development of international trade in western societies and the creation of business institutions to drive forward growth. The account takes a ‘long view’, beginning with early European exploration in the B.C. period, and ending with the establishment of multinational enterprises in the 20th century. Using an impressive range of sources this unique book will be valuable reading for students and academics involved with the study of international business, economic history, business history and politics, among other disciplines.
American naval hero and Confederate secret agent James Dunwoody Bulloch was widely considered the Confederacy’s most dangerous man in Europe. As head of the South’s covert shipbuilding and logistics program overseas during the American Civil War, Bulloch acquired a staggering 49 warships, blockade runners, and tenders; built “invulnerable” ocean-going ironclads; sustained Confederate logistics; financed covert operations; and acted as the mastermind behind the destruction of 130 Union ships. Ironically, this man who conspired to destroy the Union and kidnap its president later stood as the favorite uncle and mentor to Theodore Roosevelt. Bulloch’s astonishing life unfolds in this first-ever biography.
Measured at the staggering amount of $5.1 trillion (and growing every day) the national debt is unfathomable to most Americans. What we may not realize is that the United States was born out of debt. After the Revolution, the brilliant Alexander Hamilton was less interested in paying down the Revolutionary war debt than in using it to create a vibrant national economy. "If it is not excessive," he declared, "a national debt will be to us a national blessing." In a fascinating narrative brimming with colorful characters, historical accidents, and American ingenuity, business historian John Steele Gordon leads us on a tour of an American institution whose largely unknown story has been integrally entwined with our country's destiny. At key points in U.S. history, Gordon shows how the national debt has been a potent instrument of fiscal policy in keeping the world safe for democracy. But how much debt is too much? At a time when we despair of balancing even a single year's budget, Hamilton's Blessing provides much needed perspective - and hope. * Author writes the "Business of America" column in American Heritage magazine and is heard often on public radio's "Marketplace."