A sweeping, global history of the rise of the factory and its effects on societyGiant factories, with their ingenious machinery and miraculous productivity, have long been celebrated as modern wonders of the world. Yet from their very beginnings, when William Blake called them "dark Satanic mills," they have also fueled our fears of the future.In a major work of scholarship that is also wonderfully accessible, celebrated historian Joshua B. Freeman tells the story of the factory and examines how it has reflected both our dreams and our nightmares. He whisks readers from the textile mills in England that powered the Industrial Revolution to the colossal steel and car plants of twentieth-century America, Eastern Europe, and the Soviet Union to today's behemoths making sneakers, toys, and iPhones in China and Vietnam. He traces arguments about factories and social progress through such critics and champions as Marx and Engels, Alexander Hamilton, Henry Ford, and Joseph Stalin. He also explores the representation of factories in the work of Charles Sheeler, Margaret Bourke-White, Charlie Chaplin, Diego Rivera, and Edward Burtynsky.
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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