Hodder & Stoughton
A most comprehensive and wholly fascinating presentation of man’s struggle for technical progress, which does for technical science what Werner Keller’s Bible as History did for archaeology.
The theme is a simple one: the author sets out to explain and describe the great changes made in our world during the past two hundred years – changes caused not by battles but by scientists. The latter have had a constant struggle against the average man’s fear to change. The reader learns how muscles have been replaced by machines, how the powered wheel has conquered the world, how wings have been used, new sources of energy discovered. Automation and electronic machines are described, machines which seem to achieve a certain independence from their creators. The struggle between American and Russian technicians is depicted with a glimpse of the rocket journey of the future.
The book sets out to be a key to the technical events of today. The author maintains that we cannot avoid this progress: we must realize that the scientific happenings give us increased strength to further the well-being of mankind.
The book is completely up-to-date. Perhaps the chapter which will interest the reader most will be the one dealing with artificial satellites. The author gives a wealth of detail about their construction and method of operation.
Among the subjects dealt with are: the replacement of brute animal strength by machines, the origins and development of flying, motorcars, steam engines, railways, communications, telephones, wireless, radar, atomic energy, automation, rockets and satellites.
Science as History is the work of a German engineer, Heinz Gartmann, who was born in Dessau in 1917. He has been a practising engineer and has since 1950 busied himself with writing about scientific matters in technical journals. He is also a fellow of various Interplanetary Societies. He is one of those rare creatures: a scientist who can write convincingly and clearly for the general reader with an absence of technical jargon.