Cover image for Revolution in time : clocks and the making of the modern world
Revolution in time : clocks and the making of the modern world
Landes, David S.
Personal Author:
Revised and enlarged edition.
Publication Information:
Cambridge, MA : Harvard University Press, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 518 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
TS542 .L24 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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More than a decade after the publication of his dazzling book on the cultural, technological, and manufacturing aspects of measuring time and making clocks, David Landes has significantly expanded Revolution in Time.In a new preface and scores of updated passages, he explores new findings about medieval and early-modern time keeping, as well as contemporary hi-tech uses of the watch as mini-computer, cellular phone, and even radio receiver or television screen. While commenting on the latest research, Landes never loses his focus on the historical meaning of time and its many perceptions and uses, questions that go beyond history, that involve philosophers and possibly, theologians and literary folk as well.

Author Notes

David S. Landes was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 29, 1924. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1942. He received a master's degree in history in 1943 and a Ph.D. in history in 1953 from Harvard University. During World War II, he was drafted into the Army and was assigned to the Signal Corps because he had been taking mail-order courses in cryptanalysis. He worked on deciphering Japanese messages about the atomic bombs dropped on Japan. He later worked on a history of German preparations for the invasion of Normandy.

His dissertation, Bankers and Pashas: International Finance and Economic Imperialism in Egypt, became his first book. His other works included Revolution in Time: Clocks and the Making of the Modern World, The Wealth and Poverty of Nations: Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor, and Dynasties: Fortunes and Misfortunes of the World's Great Family Businesses. He taught at numerous universities during his lifetime including Columbia University, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard University, where he retired in 1996. He died on August 17, 2013 at the age of 89.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Table of Contents

Preface to the Second Editionp. xi
Prefacep. xvii
Introductionp. 1
I Finding Timep. 13
1 A Magnificent Dead Endp. 15
2 Why Are the Memorials Late?p. 33
3 Are You Sleeping, Brother John?p. 48
4 The Greatest Necessity for Every Rank of Menp. 71
II Keeping Timep. 87
5 My Time Is My Timep. 89
6 Of Toys and Ornaments and Serious Thingsp. 102
7 My Time Is Your Timep. 118
8 Approaching the Asymptotep. 143
9 The Man Who Stayed to Dinnerp. 155
10 The French Connectionp. 167
11 Fame Is the Spurp. 180
III Making Timep. 203
12 Clocks in the Belfryp. 205
13 The Good Old Days That Never Werep. 215
14 The Ups and Downs of International Competitionp. 231
15 Multum in Parvop. 248
16 Notwithstanding the Barrenness of the Soilp. 276
17 Nor Could He Compete with Usp. 293
18 Ah, But He Could!p. 309
19 Not One in Fifty Thousandp. 326
20 Who Killed Cock Robin?p. 347
21 The Quartz Revolutionp. 364
Appendix A Escapementsp. 397
Appendix B Tablesp. 417
Notesp. 427
Credits for Illustrationsp. 499
Indexp. 501