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Paperback | $22.95 Trade | £15.95 | ISBN: 9780262731904 | 304 pp. | 6 x 9 in | 17 b&w illus.| April 2008
eBook | $16.95 Trade | ISBN: 9780262254380 | 304 pp. | 17 b&w illus.| April 2008
About MIT Press eBooks

Notes on the Underground, New Edition

An Essay on Technology, Society, and the Imagination

About the Author

Rosalind Williams is Bern Dibner Professor of the History of Science and Technology in MIT's Program in Science, Technology, and Society. She is the author of Retooling: A Historian Confronts Technological Change (MIT Press, 2002).


“One can only be delighted that Notes on the Underground is again available in print. Great books can only remain classics if they are reread by new generations of readers. It is now possible to put Williams's book alongside other classics such as Leo Marx's The Machine in the Garden or Raymond Williams's The City and the Country. Notes on the Underground deserves to be added to this prestigious list of studies that continue to inspire all those who defend a holistic yet not necessarily homogeneous view of analyzing science and culture.”— Jan Baetens, Leonardo
“What are the consequences when human beings dwell in an environment that is predominantly built rather than given? An uncommonly astute and provocative array of answers are examined through the metaphor of living underground, literally and in literature...A spellbinder.”—J. Baldwin, Whole Earth Review
“Williams has written a book that is clear and enjoyable...Notes on the Underground's moral imperative not only makes for fascinating criticism, but also encourages a rethinking of our ecological priorities.”—John Miller, Artforum


Notes on the Underground artfully demonstrates the triumph of the modern imagination, at once literary and technological, in exploring the least-explored sector of our habitat: the mysterious depths beneath its hard, seemingly impenetrable, surface.”
Leo Marx, Professor Emeritus, Professor Emeritus, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT
“How good to have a new edition of this classic book. Rosalind Williams describes one of the great transformations of the human world, and hence the human psyche—a transition still underway, and still hidden in plain view.”
Bill McKibben
“Rosalind Williams has brilliantly and eloquently explored the too often ignored, but salient, concept of the underground in past and present.”
Thomas P. Hughes, author of Human-Built World, and Professor Emeritus, University of Pennsylvania