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Fourth Making Europe volume available

10 November 2015

‘Europe’s Infrastructure Transition’ - the fourth Making Europe volume available

The fourth volume of the book series Making Europe: Technology an Transformations, 1850-2000 is available. Palgrave Macmillan will start dispatching the books as soon as possible. Authors of this volume are Per Högselius (KTH Sweden), Arne Kaijser (KTH-Sweden), and Erik van der Vleuten (Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands).

Europe's infrastructure both united and divided peoples and places via economic systems, crises, and wars. Some used transport, communication, and energy infrastructure to supply food, power, industrial products, credit, and unprecedented wealth; others mobilized infrastructure capacities for waging war on scales hitherto unknown. Europe's natural world was fundamentally transformed; its landscapes, waterscapes, and airscapes turned into infrastructure themselves. Europe's Infrastructure Transition reframes the conflicted story of modern European history by taking material networks as its point of departure. It traces the priorities set and the choices made in constructing transnational infrastructure connections - within and beyond the continent. Moreover, this study introduces an alternative set of historically-key individuals, organizations, and companies in the making of modern Europe and analyzes roads both taken and ignored.

Reviews:

'In a richly-textured and original study, Högselius, van der Vleuten and Kaijser explore how system builders – engineers, officials, and others – made 19th and 20th century Europe. They built transport, energy, communication and other infrastructures. They believed in progress, in economic growth ending forever war, and in their ability to alter nature for the better. The authors show that, despite their bold utopian intentions, the builders encountered political uncertainties, national technical vulnerabilities, and unexpected and severe environmental costs that still have done little to dampen their enthusiasm. This book should be of interest to broad audiences.' - Paul R. Josephson, Colby College, USA

'At once finely detailed and ambitiously synthetic, this work reveals infrastructure as an agent of history. From the first railway tracks of the 1830s to migrants walking those tracks today, changing means of circulation have redefined the meaning of 'Europe.' This brave and persuasive history of infrastructure space will inspire similar studies of other regions.' - Rosalind H. Williams, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA

'A tour de force that marks a new era of Braudelian 'total history.' Probes the material roots of European modernity: the technological systems and networks that undergird today's Europe of integration, circulation, flows, borders, and barriers. Europe's Infrastructure Transition reveals the contradictory human aims that have made these systems powerful agents of historical and environmental change.' - Eda Kranakis, University of Ottowa, Canada

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