Hardback
February 26, 2013
9781421407906
English
344
130630
21
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6.00 Inches (US)
1.08 Inches (US)
1.35 Pounds (US)
$58.00 USD, £43.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference
Electronic book text
February 26, 2013
9781421408255
9781421407906
English
344
130630
21
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$58.00 USD, £43.00 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Risk

Negotiating Safety in American Society

How have Americans confronted, managed, and even enjoyed the risks of daily life?

Winner of the Ralph Gomory Prize of the Business History Conference

"Risk" is a capacious term used to describe the uncertainties that arise from physical, financial, political, and social activities. Practically everything we do carries some level of risk—threats to our bodies, property, and animals. How do we determine when the risk is too high? In considering this question, Arwen P. Mohun offers a thought-provoking study of danger and how people have managed it from pre-industrial and industrial America up until today.

Mohun outlines a vernacular risk culture in early America, one based on ordinary experience and common sense. The rise of factories and machinery eventually led to shocking accidents, which, she explains, risk-management experts and the "gospel of safety" sought to counter. Finally, she examines the simultaneous blossoming of risk-taking as fun and the aggressive regulations that follow from the consumer-products-safety movement.

Risk and society, a rapidly growing area of historical research, interests sociologists, psychologists, and other social scientists. Americans have learned to tame risk in both the workplace and the home. Yet many of us still like amusement park rides that scare the devil out of us; they dare us to take risks.

About the Author

Arwen P. Mohun is a professor of history at the University of Delaware. She is author of Steam Laundries: Gender, Technology, and Work in the United States and Great Britain, 1880–1940 and coeditor of Gender and Technology: A Reader, both published by Johns Hopkins.

Reviews

"A thought-provoking study of danger and how people have managed it in American from preindustrial and industrial times up until today."

- Steven Goddard - History Wire - Where the Past Comes Alive

"Risk is a fascinating exploration of culture, history, and mankind's tenuous grasp on saving itself from accidents."

- Midwest Book Review

"Writing in a lucid style, Mohun gives an impressive overview of the American transition from vernacular to expert-centered or state-driven risk regimes."

- Claas Kirchhelle - British Journal for the History of Science

"Mohun’s claims are persuasively argued, well documented, rooted in the everyday experiences of knowledgeable historical contemporaries, and animated by the broad political, social, and cultural changes that define modernization."

- David Blanke - American Historical Review

"Mohun's comprehensive approach registers a major contribution that takes safety history a big step forward."

- Donald W. Rogers - Journal of American History
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9781421407906 : risk-mohun
Hardback
344 Pages
$58.00 USD
9781421408255 : risk-mohun
Electronic book text
344 Pages
$58.00 USD

Other Titles by Arwen P. Mohun

Gender and Technology

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Oct 2003 - Johns Hopkins University Press
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Steam Laundries

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Mar 2003 - Johns Hopkins University Press
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