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Elting E. Morison

Elting Morison (1909–1995) was an American historian of technology, biographer, author, and essayist. A professor at MIT for many years, he founded MIT’s program in Science, Technology, and Society.

Titles by This Author

People have had trouble adapting to new technology ever since (perhaps) the inventor of the wheel had to explain that a wheelbarrow could carry more than a person. This little book by a celebrated MIT professor—the fiftieth anniversary edition of a classic—describes how we learn to live and work with innovation. Elting Morison considers, among other things, the three stages of users’ resistance to change: ignoring it; rational rebuttal; and name-calling.

Men, Machines, and Modern Times, though ultimately concerned with a positive alternative to an Orwellian 1984, offers an entertaining series of historical accounts taken from the nineteenth century to highlight a main theme: the nature of technological change, the fission brought about in society by such change, and society's reaction to that change. Beginning with a remarkable illustration of resistance to innovation in the U.S.