marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Machine in the Garden

The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America by Leo Marx

Discussion of views on machinery and rural life.

At the Founding, it was generally thought we would depend on European manufactures -- after all, people would not be forced into manufacture (not yet hand manufacture) because they could not get land to cultivate. One foresightful soul predicted that the problem of labor would mean that America would automate the faster. (And all the better. Look at the mill sites Providence had provided! Were they to go to waste?) The Napoleonic Wars interfering with the trade helped.

Discussion of pastorialism in Virgil and in American writers. The pure literary criticism of novels is the weakest. Figurative language about trains and what it meant.

More interesting in some parts than as a unified whole.
Tags: history reviews: 19th century-wwi, lit crit

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