To make sense of their twenty-first-century world, people need to understand the profound influence of the twentieth-century technology known as the assembly line. David Nye's sweeping analysis of the origins and development of 'the line' is the place to start. -- Robert Casey, former Senior Curator of Transportation, Henry Ford Museum It is hard to think of a manufacturing technology that has had a greater economic and social impact than the moving assembly line. In America's Assembly Line, David Nye shows us how this new technology emerged, expanded, stalled, and was reinvented, setting in train the age of mass production and consumerism as well as many of the subsequent environmental problems we experience today. Nye's beautifully nuanced and perceptive treatment of the subject indicates why he is one of the most distinguished historians of technology and culture working today. -- Merritt Roe Smith, Cutten Professor of the History of Technology, MIT Crafted with immense erudition, America's Assembly Line is a fascinating cultural history, combining extensive archival research and theoretical sophistication. Nye shows how America's growing economy in the twentieth century was powered by the assembly line and how deeply this 'general purpose technology' was intertwined with American culture, from the exuberance of the Rockettes to the dysphoria of the American worker. He offers a lucid, historically informed reading of the problems that beset America today, in a changed global economy that has adapted assembly-line technology to its advantage even as the American worker has been marginalized. -- Miles Orvell, Temple University, author of The Death and Life of Main Street: Small Towns in American Memory, Space, and Community
David E. Nye is Professor of American Studies at the Danish Institute of Advanced Study at the University of Southern Denmark, He is the author of Technology Matters: Questions to Live With and When the Lights Went Out: A History of Blackouts in America, both published by the MIT Press, and other books.
Nye's beautifully written interpretation covers so much ground that historians of technology, labor, business, international economics, and American culture will all find it an invaluable resource, offering new reasons to appreciate the hundred-year history of the assembly line. -- Amy Sue Bix * American Historical Review * Nye's fascinating book deserves a wide readership. -- Howard Segal * Times Higher Education *