eview of Josephson, Paul R., Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World

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Abstract

Paul R. Josephson's Industrialized Nature: Brute Force Technology and the Transformation of the Natural World rests on an intriguing premise: in the twentieth century, industrialized societies have deployed similar technologies for similar socio-economic and politico-cultural ends, with concomitantly similar environmental effects. For Josephson, author of several important books on the history of Soviet science and technology, this effort marks a departure from his previous work in terms of scope, ambition, and theoretical sophistication. He has tended in the past to place more weight on ideology and culture as the prime determinants of the kinds of technology that societies develop, as evidenced in the title of his 1996 book, Totalitarian Science and Technology. An admitted technophile, Josephson claims to have revised these views during the course of preparing Industrialized Nature. Insofar as the integrity of the biosphere is concerned, abstract political doctrines matter less than "brute force" technologies, he writes. Common to all states, they are characterized by massive scale and indiscriminate effect, destroying both the environment and the people of peripheral regions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHumanities and Social Sciences Online
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2005

Keywords

  • industrialised nature
  • natural world
  • biospheres

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