Paperback / softback
October 29, 2015
9781421417837
English
224
8 b&w photos
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
.7 Pounds (US)
.7 Pounds (US)
$32.00 USD, £23.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
November 24, 2015
9781421417844
9781421417837
English
224
8 b&w photos
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$32.00 USD, £23.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Fish Sticks, Sports Bras, and Aluminum Cans

The Politics of Everyday Technologies

Who would have guessed that the first sports bra was made out of two jockstraps sewn together or that it succeeded because of federal anti-discrimination laws? What do simple decisions about where to build a road or whether to buy into the carbon economy have to do with Hurricane Katrina or the Fukushima nuclear disaster? How did massive flood control projects on the Mississippi River and New Deal dams on the Columbia River lead to the ubiquity of high fructose corn syrup? And what explains the creation—and continued popularity—of the humble fish stick?

In Fish Sticks, Sports Bras, and Aluminum Cans, historian Paul R. Josephson explores the surprising origins, political contexts, and social meanings of ordinary objects. Drawing on archival materials, technical journals, interviews, and field research, this engaging collection of essays reveals the forces that shape (and are shaped by) everyday objects.

Ultimately, Josephson suggests that the most familiar and comfortable objects—sugar and aluminum, for example, which are inextricably tied together by their linked history of slavery and colonialism—may have the more astounding and troubling origins. Students of consumer studies and the history of technology, as well as scholars and general readers, will be captivated by Josephson's insights into the complex relationship between society and technology.

About the Author

Paul R. Josephson is a professor of history at Colby College. He is the author of Would Trotsky Wear a Bluetooth? Technological Utopianism under Socialism, 1917–1989 and The Conquest of the Russian Arctic.

Reviews

"Josephson's conclusions are guaranteed to make you think of the modern world and its interconnectedness in a different light. 'Sometimes,' he writes 'you should just say, no, refuse that new-fangled fish stick or aluminum soda can or smart phone or online source.'"—Cosmos

". . . At its best is original and instructive and compresses a great deal of technical material into a brief and readable form."—British Journal for the History of Science

". . . every chapter of this book offers surprising insights and is a pleasure to read – not only for academic readers or lecturers who might find the essays very suitable to discuss with students. The book will also be appreciated by a broader audience interested in learning more about the complex technological systems that are bound up in the artefacts surrounding us."—ICON

"Josephson draws readers into the complexities and fascinations of the study of technological history. A lively and provocative book."—David E. Nye, University of Southern Denmark, author of Technology Matters: Questions to Live With

9781421417837 : fish-sticks-sports-bras-and-aluminum-cans-josephson
Paperback / softback
224 Pages
$32.00 USD
9781421417844 : fish-sticks-sports-bras-and-aluminum-cans-josephson
Electronic book text
224 Pages
$32.00 USD

Other Titles by Paul R. Josephson

Would Trotsky Wear a Bluetooth?

Paul R. Josephson
Dec 2009 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$70.00 USD - Hardback
$70.00 USD - Electronic book text

Motorized Obsessions

Paul R. Josephson
Aug 2007 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$27.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / History

Expanding the Envelope

Michael H. Gorn
Mar 2025 - University Press of Kentucky
$35.00 USD - Hardback
$12.95 USD - Electronic book text

Replayed

Henry Lowood - edited by Raiford Guins - with a foreword by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum and an interview by T. L. Taylor
Jun 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$50.00 USD - Hardback
$50.00 USD - Electronic book text

Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp
May 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text

Other Titles in History of engineering & technology

Replayed

Henry Lowood - edited by Raiford Guins - with a foreword by Matthew G. Kirschenbaum and an interview by T. L. Taylor
Jun 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$50.00 USD - Hardback
$50.00 USD - Electronic book text

Making Machines of Animals

Neal A. Knapp
May 2023 - Johns Hopkins University Press
$60.00 USD - Hardback
$60.00 USD - Electronic book text

Consuming Landscapes

Thomas Zeller
Sep 2022 - The Johns Hopkins University Press
$55.00 USD - Hardback
$55.00 USD - Electronic book text