This history book is fun and enjoyable to read. -Mark H.
Consuming Power - A Social History of American Energies
by David E. Nye
with readable pages
How did the United States become the world's largest consumer of energy? In
Consuming Power, David Nye shows that this is less a question about the
development of technology than it is a question about the development of
culture. Nye focuses on the lives of ordinary people engaged in normal
activities, examining how these activities changed as new energy systems
were constructed, from colonial times to recent years. He also shows how, as
Americans incorporated new machines and processes into their lives, they
became ensnared in power systems that were not easily changed: they made
choices about the conduct of their lives, and those choices accumulated to
produce a consuming culture.
Nye examines a sequence of large systems that acquired and then lost
technological momentum over the course of American history, including water
power, steam power, electricity, the internal-combustion engine, atomic
power, and computerization. He shows how each system became part of a larger
set of social constructions through its links to the home, the factory, and
About the Author
David E. Nye is Professor of History, Center for American Studies,
University of Southern Denmark. He was awarded the 2005 Leonardo Da Vinci
Medal, presented by the Society for the History of Technology.