“Freeman’s rich and ambitious Behemoth depicts a world in retreat that still looms large in the national imagination.… More than an economic history, or a chronicle of architectural feats and labor movements.”Jennifer Szalai, New York Times
In an accessible and timely work of scholarship, celebrated historian Joshua B. Freeman tells the story of the factory and examines how it has reflected both our dreams and our nightmares of industrialization and social change. He whisks readers from the early textile mills that powered the Industrial Revolution to the factory towns of New England to today’s behemoths making sneakers, toys, and cellphones in China and Vietnam. Behemoth offers a piercing perspective on how factories have shaped our societies and the challenges we face now.
Joshua B. Freeman is a Distinguished Professor of History at Queens College and the Graduate Center of CUNY. His previous books include American Empire and Working-Class New York, among others. He lives in New York City.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 "Like Minerva From The Brain Of Jupiter" The Invention of the Factory 1
Chapter 2 "The Living Light" New England Textiles and Visions of Utopia 43
Chapter 3 "The Progress Of Civilization" Industrial Exhibitions, Steelmaking, and the Price of Prometheanism 80
Chapter 4 "I Worship Factories" Fordism, Labor, and the Romance of the Giant Factory 118
Chapter 5 "Communism Is Soviet Power Plus The Electrification Of The Whole Country" Crash Industrialization in the Soviet Union 169
Chapter 6 "Common Requirements Of Industrialization" Gold War Mass Production 226
Chapter 7 "Foxconn City" Giant Factories in China and Vietnam 270
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