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Rescuing Prometheus

Rescuing Prometheus Cover

Rescuing Prometheus

Four Monumental Projects That Changed Our World

By Thomas Parke Hughes

Vintage Books, Paperback, 9780679739388, 384pp.

Publication Date: March 14, 2000

"A rare insight into industrial planning on a huge scale...Excellent." --The Economist
Rescuing Prometheus is an eye-opening and marvelously informative look at some of the technological projects that helped shape the modern world.Thomas P. Hughes focuses on four postwar projects whose vastness and complexity inspired new technology, new organizations, and new management styles.The first use of computers to run systems was developed for the SAGE air defense project.The Atlas missile project was so complicated it required the development of systems engineering in order to complete it.The Boston Central Artery/Tunnel Project tested systems engineering in the complex crucible of a large scale civilian roadway.And finally, the origins of the Internet fostered the collegial management style that later would take over Silicon Valley and define the modern computer industry.With keen insight, Hughes tells these fascinating stories while providing a riveting history of modern technology and the management systems that made it possible.

About the Author
Thomas P. Hughes is Emeritus Mellon Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. His books include American Genesis: A Century of Invention and Technology. Currently a Distinguished Visiting Professor at MIT, he lives in Philadelphia.

Praise For Rescuing Prometheus

"An important contribution to an understanding of the history, politics and culture of big science-based projects in [the Cold War] era.... Uplifting."  -The New York Times Book Review

"Hughes does an impressive job of bringing the titanic projects down to size.... Assiduously researched."  -Wired