Paperback / softback
January 17, 2012
9781421405209
English
208
11
4
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.51 Inches (US)
.6 Pounds (US)
$26.00 USD, £19.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Iron Coffin, updated edition

War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor

The USS Monitor famously battled the CSS Virginia (the armored and refitted USS Merrimack) at Hampton Roads in March 1862. This updated edition of David A. Mindell's classic account of the ironclad warships and the human dimension of modern warfare commemorates the 150th anniversary of this historic encounter.

Mindell explores how mariners—fighting "blindly," below the waterline—lived in and coped with the metal monster they called the "iron coffin." He investigates how the ironclad technology, new to war in the nineteenth century, changed not only the tools but also the experience of combat and anticipated today’s world of mechanized, pushbutton warfare.

The writings of William Frederick Keeler, the ship’s paymaster, inform much of this book, as do the experiences of everyman sailor George Geer, who held Keeler in some contempt. Mindell uses their compelling stories, and those of other shipmates, to recreate the thrills and dangers of living and fighting aboard this superweapon.

Recently, pieces of the Monitor wreck have been raised from their watery grave, and with them, information about the ship continues to be discovered. A new epilogue describes the recovery of the Monitor turret and its display at the USS Monitor Museum in Newport News, Virginia.

This sensitive and enthralling history of the USS Monitor ensures that this fateful ship, and the men who served on it, will be remembered for generations to come.

About the Author

David A. Mindell is Dibner Professor of the History of Engineering and Manufacturing and Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is author or editor of several books, including Digital Apollo: Human and Machine in Spaceflight and Between Human and Machine: Feedback, Control, and Computing before Cybernetics, the latter published by Johns Hopkins. The first edition of Iron Coffin, titled War, Technology, and Experience aboard the USS Monitor, won the Sally Hacker Prize from the Society for the History of Technology in 2001.

Reviews

Mindell takes us back in time so we become 'witnesses' to the events surrounding the Union Navy's most famous ironclad.

- Pirates and Privateers

The excellence of this volume confirms its continuing usefulness... Iron Coffin is a veritable gem of a book.

- John F.M. McDermott - IEEE Technology and Society Magazine

Mindell’s research is impeccable and supports his argument with considerable authority from contemporary sources as well as his own experiences after the partial recovery of the Monitor’s components. The book, as with its earlier incarnation, is an important bridge between operational military history and the human side to science and technology.

- Gregory Stern - H-War, H-Net Reviews

Midell conveys life aboard the Monitor with realism and honesty.

- Robert C. Stewart - Industrial Archaeology
Johns Hopkins University Press
Johns Hopkins Introductory Studies in the History of Technology
updated edition
From 13 To 17

9781421405209 : iron-coffin-2nd-edition-mindell
Paperback / softback
208 Pages
$26.00 USD

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