Fischer Weltgeschichte, Bd.14, Der Islam
Gerhard Endreß,Claude. Cahen | 1987-01-01 00:00:00 | Fischer (Tb.), Frankfurt | 382 | Subjects
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Paul Semonin's lively history of this icon of American nationalism focuses on the link between patriotism and prehistoric nature. From the first fist-sized tooth found in 1705, which Puritan clergyman claimed was evidence of human giants, to the scientific racialism associated with the discovery of extinct species, Semonin traces the evangelical beliefs, Enlightenment thought, and Indian myths which led the founding fathers to view this prehistoric monster as a symbol of nationhood.
Semonin also sees the mystery of the mastodon in early America as a cautionary tale about the first flowering of our narcissistic fascination with a prehistoric nature ruled by ferocious carnivores. As such, American Monster offers fresh insights into the genesis of the ongoing fascination with dinosaurs.
In this interesting, well-written book Paul Semonin examines early (first half of the 18th century) fossil discoveries made in NY and along the Ohio River in terms of what scientists thought they were from to how people came to interpret them based on religious convention and, ultimately, national pride. When mastodon teeth were first found near Albany in 1705, they were first thought to be from giant man-like creatures; Cotton Mather wrote extensively on this belief, citing the giants mentioned in the Bible as his source. The fossils were also used to prove the Deluge: these bones were the "wreckage" of the Great Flood. As the fossils made their way to Europe, different interpretations took root: in France, George Louis Leclerc de Buffon declared that the fossils "proved" the idea of American "degeneracy" and "inferiority." This naturally brought about a strong reaction from Americans who were forging their own national designs at the time. Debate and speculation was intense and involved many of the leading lights of the day, including Franklin and Jefferson and the major scientists of Europe. Semonin traces all of the elements of these arguments and their implications thoroughly and clearly. For a while, before dinosaur fossils were discovered, the mastodon was the "king" of prehistoric beasts (ironically, when the first full skeleton of a mastodon was initially displayed in Philadelphia the tusks were put in upside-down, corresponding with the theory that the beast was a carnivore). This book should be enjoyed by those who have an interest in American history (the chapter on the discovery of fossils along the Ohio River is strong on exploration) as well as those with an interest in natural science.
I bought and read this book because I recognized the name of the author as initiator extraordinaire in the '60s and '70s of two art forms, unnamed, unfunded, and unreviewed then, whose practitioners today reap the rewards of what foundations and critics deem "hot:" performance art and appropriation art. Both forms blur the lines between everything and make you see the world with which you know you are quite familiar in ways that would never have occurred to you before and as a result of which you see everything differently thereafter. Semonin started both trends under several other names which he doesn't refer to on his book jacket and his publisher doesn't either. So I will leave that mystery to readers curious enough to dig it out for themselves. What Semonin, the artist, gave artists who "got" it,
Semonin, the scholar, gives scholars who "get" the American Monster. Read it as a scholarly work of art, as artful scholarship, savor the surprises of accompanying our American forebears' digging their mystery, the root of our popular culture.
This book was a delight! The author recreated in a wonderful style the amazing story of the earliest finds of large American fossils along the Hudson River and the Kentucky frontier, the scientist-naturalists of the time, how they worked and thought, and how it all fits into our early United States history. This book bridges several disciplines. As an environmental geologist I loved learning how a niche of my science fits into the historical scene. I recommend this book to scientists, university science classes, and the interested reader to add social and historic breadth to science understanding. How many scientists know of Thomas Jefferson's role in these early fossil debates? And, this book weaves together hundreds of details and several stories that tie religion, exploration, and social science theories to science. To top it off, there are 50 stunning illustrations. One of my favorites is the 1756 drawing of a "giant grinder" by the French mineralogist Jean Etienne Guettard. In this Internet age of instant communication it amazed me to realize that it sometimes took a year or more for scientists to share their data and theories on the "American Monster".
In his preface, the author quotes his wife as saying, "Don't ramble-get to the point." Semonin never takes her advice and thus this is a book that should have been no more than half as long as this disjointed collection of digressions. There are really several stories in this book. I wish the author had decided which one he wanted to tell. Semonin can be an engaging storyteller and the discovery of fossil mastodon bones in North America came at a formative stage in American history. Too bad the author didn't find an editor who was willing to make him take his wife's advice.
For anyone interested in how today's myths of the prehuman past came to be, this book is essential. There ar more than 30 pages of footnotes, as well as a lengthy bibliography, but American Monster is written for general readers as well as specialists. Semonin's style is fluid, well-paced, and rich in detail yet precise, and would be the envy of a novelist.
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Written by eminent scholars who are well known within their fields across Europe, this book explores changes in the international economic environment, their impacts on the strategy of firms and the spatial consequences of these changes in strategy.
The economic environment in which major companies operate is subject to rapid and important changes. Such changes have their impact on the strategy of major and even smaller companies and changes in these firm's strategies often have important implications for the location choice of their activities, be it production, outsourcing, R&D or administrative activities.
Addressing these issues in a clear yet rigorous manner, this book is an excellent resource for students and researchers working and studying in the areas of international business, corporations, business strategy, economic geography and business geography.
Parallelkinematische Maschinen stellen die spektakulärste Innovation auf dem Gebiet der Maschinenstrukturen im letzten Jahrzehnt dar. Das als Nachschlagewerk konzipierte Buch vereint erstmals das umfangreiche Wissen zu diesem Thema. Der konstruktive Entwicklungsprozess parallelkinematischer Maschinen und der Einsatz in der industriellen Fertigung werden an Beispielen dargestellt.
Schwerpunkte bilden die praktischen Anforderungen an parallelkinematische Maschinen, deren strukturelle Konzeption, die richtige Auslegung von Steuerung und Komponenten sowie die messtechnische Bewertung solcher Maschinen. Probleme der Modellbildung werden ebenfalls dargestellt. Einsatzerfahrungen, wie sie mit parallelkinematischen Werkzeugmaschinen und Handhabeeinrichtungen gewonnen wurden, und Felder potenzieller Anwendungen werden genauso beschrieben wie Gesichtspunkte der Programmierung solcher Maschinen. Ein einführender historischer Abriss und Erläuterungen zur Terminologie runden das Buch inhaltlich ab.
Ein Verzeichnis der verwendeten Formeln, ein ausführliches Literaturverzeichnis sowie ein Sachverzeichnis sind Hilfen, die dem Leser das Arbeiten mit dem Buch erleichtern.