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Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel: Technology and Invention in the Middle Ages
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Bibliographic Detail
Publisher Harpercollins
Publication date February 1, 1994
Binding Hardcover
Book category Adult Non-Fiction
ISBN-13 9780060165901
ISBN-10 0060165901
Dimensions 1.25 by 6 by 8.50 in.
Weight 1.20 lbs.
Availability§ Out of Print
Original list price $25.00
§As reported by publisher
Summaries and Reviews
Summary
A fascinating exploration of how Western Europe, after the chaos of the Dark Ages, rose to lead the world in technology examines how such inventions as the spinning wheel, the flying buttress, and the blast furnace helped create Western culture.
Amazon.com description: Product Description: In this account of Europe's rise to world leadership in technology, Frances and Joseph Gies make use of recent scholarship to destroy two time-honored myths. Myth One: that Europe's leap forward occurred suddenly in the "Renaissance," following centuries of medieval stagnation. Not so, say the Gieses: Early modern technology and experimental science were direct outgrowths of the decisive innovations of medieval Europe, in the tools and techniques of agriculture, craft industry, metallurgy, building construction, navigation, and war. Myth Two: that Europe achieved its primacy through "Western" superiority. On the contrary, the authors report, many of Europe's most important inventions - the horse harness, the stirrup, the magnetic compass, cotton and silk cultivation and manufacture, papermaking, firearms, "Arabic" numerals - had their origins outside Europe, in China, India, and Islam. The Gieses show how Europe synthesized its own innovations - the three-field system, water power in industry, the full-rigged ship, the putting-out system - into a powerful new combination of technology, economics, and politics.
From the expansion of medieval man's capabilities, the voyage of Columbus with all its fateful consequences is seen as an inevitable product, while even the genius of Leonardo da Vinci emerges from the context of earlier and lesser-known dreamers and tinkerers.
Cathedral, Forge, and Waterwheel is illustrated with more than 90 photographs and drawings. It is a Split Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club.

Editions
Hardcover
Book cover for 9780060165901
 
The price comparison is for this edition
from Harpercollins (February 1, 1994)
9780060165901 | details & prices | 6.00 × 8.50 × 1.25 in. | 1.20 lbs | List price $25.00
About: An exploration of how Western Europe, after the chaos of the Dark Ages, rose to lead the world in technology examines such inventions as the spinning wheel, the flying buttress, and the blast furnace
Paperback
Book cover for 9780060925819
 
Reprint edition from Perennial (February 1, 1995)
9780060925819 | details & prices | 5.50 × 8.25 × 1.00 in. | 0.70 lbs | List price $15.99
Miscellaneous
With Frances Gies | from Harpercollins (September 21, 2010)
9780062016607 | details & prices | 368 pages | List price $11.99

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