Lewis Mumford (October 19, 1895 – January 26, 1990) was an American historian of technology and science. Events 202 BCE - The Battle of Zama results in the defeat of Carthage and Hannibal. Year 1895 ( MDCCCXCV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year Events 1340 - King Edward III of England is declared King of France. Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) The United States of America —commonly referred to as the See also History An historian is an individual who studies and writes about History, and is regarded as an Authority on it Technology is a broad concept that deals with a Species ' usage and knowledge of Tools and Crafts and how it affects a species' ability to control and adapt Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning " Knowledge " or "knowing" is the effort to discover, and increase human understanding Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a tremendously broad career as a writer that also included a period as an influential literary critic. A city is an Urban area with a large Population and a particular Administrative, Legal, or Historical status Literary criticism is the study discussion evaluation and interpretation of Literature. Mumford was influenced by the work of Scottish theorist Sir Patrick Geddes. Sir Patrick Geddes (1854 - 1932 was a Scottish Biologist and Botanist, known also as an innovative thinker in the fields of Urban planning
Mumford was also a contemporary and friend of Frank Lloyd Wright, Frederic J. Osborn, Edmund N. Bacon, and Vannevar Bush. Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8 1867 &ndash April 9 1959 was an American (of Welsh descent Architect, Interior designer, Writer, and educator who Sir Frederic James Osborn (1885-1978 was a leading member of the UK Garden city movement and was Chairman of the Town and Country Planning Association. Edmund Norwood Bacon ( May 2, 1910 – October 14, 2005) was a noted American Urban planner, Architect, Vannevar Bush ( March 11, 1890 &ndash June 30, 1974; pronounced "VAN-ee-var" ˈvæˌniː
Mumford was born in Flushing, New York, and graduated from Stuyvesant High School in 1912. Flushing, founded in 1645 is a neighborhood in the north central part of the City of New York borough of Queens, ten miles (16 km east of Manhattan Stuyvesant High School ( IPA: /ˈstаɪvɛsənt/ commonly referred to as Stuy ( IPA: /ˈstаɪ/ is a New York City Public high school  He studied at the City College of New York and the New School for Social Research, but became ill with tuberculosis and never finished his degree. The City College of The City University of New York (known more commonly as the City College of New York or simply City College, CCNY, or colloquially as This is about the university in New York; for other uses see New School (disambiguation. In 1919 he became associate editor of The Dial, an influential modernist literary journal. The Dial was an American magazine published intermittently from 1840 to 1929 Modernism describes an array of Cultural movements rooted in the changes in Western society in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century He later worked for The New Yorker where he wrote architectural criticism and commentary on urban issues. The New Yorker is an American Magazine that publishes reportage commentary criticism essays fiction satire cartoons and poetry
Mumford's earliest books in the field of literary criticism have had a lasting impact on contemporary American literary criticism. The Golden Day contributed to a resurgence in scholarly research on the work of 1850's American transcendentalist authors and Herman Melville: A study of His Life and Vision effectively launched a revival in the study of the work of Herman Melville. Transcendentalism was a group of new ideas in Literature, Religion, Culture, and Philosophy that emerged in New England in the Herman Melville (August 1 1819 &ndash September 28 1891 was an American novelist Short story writer Essayist and poet Soon after, with the book The Brown Decades, he began to establish himself as an authority in US architecture and urban life, which he interpreted in a social context. The term architecture (from Greek αρχιτεκτονικήarchitektoniki) can be used to mean a process a profession or documentation
In his early writings on urban life, Mumford was optimistic about human abilities and wrote that the human race would use electricity and mass communication to build a better world for all humankind. Mass communication is the term used to describe the academic study of the various means by which individuals and entities relay information through Mass media to large segments He would later take a more pessimistic stance. His early architectural criticism also helped to bring wider public recognition to the work of Henry Hobson Richardson, Louis Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright. Henry Hobson Richardson ( September 29, 1838 &ndash April 27, 1886) was a prominent American Architect of the 19th Louis Henri Sullivan (September 4 1856 &ndash April 14 1924 was an American Architect, and has been called the "father of modernism. Frank Lloyd Wright (June 8 1867 &ndash April 9 1959 was an American (of Welsh descent Architect, Interior designer, Writer, and educator who
Mumford was involved in numerous research positions and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1964. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is a decoration bestowed by the President of the United States and is along with the equivalent Congressional Gold Medal bestowed In 1943 Mumford was made an honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. The British honours system is a means of rewarding individuals' personal bravery achievement or service to the United Kingdom. In 1976, he was awarded the Prix mondial Cino Del Duca. The Prix mondial Cino Del Duca (Cino Del Duca World Prize is a major international Literary award established in 1969 in France by Simone Del Duca (1912-2004
He served as the architectural critic for The New Yorker magazine for over 30 years, and his 1961 book, The City in History, received the National Book Award. The New Yorker is an American Magazine that publishes reportage commentary criticism essays fiction satire cartoons and poetry The City in History Its Origins Its Transformations and Its Prospects is a 1961 National Book Award winner by American Historian Lewis Mumford The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States.
Lewis Mumford died at his home in Amenia, New York. Amenia is a hamlet (and Census-designated place) in Dutchess County, New York, United States.
Mumford believed that what defined humanity (what set human beings apart from other animals) was not primarily our use of tools (technology) but our use of language (symbols). He was convinced that the sharing of information and ideas amongst participants of primitive societies was completely natural to early humanity, and had obviously been the foundation of society as it became more sophisticated and complex. He had hopes for a continuation of this process of information “pooling” in the world as humanity moved into the future. 
Mumford's choice of the word "technics" throughout his work was deliberate. For Mumford, technology is one part of technics. Using the broader definition of the Greek tekne, which means not only technology but also art, skill and dexterity, technics refers to the interplay of a social milieu and technological innovation - the "wishes, habits, ideas, goals" as well as "industrial processes" of a society. As Mumford writes at the beginning of Technics and Civilization, "other civilizations reached a high degree of technical proficiency without, apparently, being profoundly influenced by the methods and aims of technics. Technics and Civilization written by Lewis Mumford in the 1930s (published in 1934 gives the history of technology and its interplay in shaping and being shaped "
In The Myth of the Machine: technics and human development (1967), Mumford criticizes the modern trend of technology, which emphasizes constant, unrestricted expansion, production, and replacement. He explains that these goals work against technical perfection, durability, social efficiency, and overall human satisfaction. Modern technology—which he calls 'megatechnics'—evades producing lasting, quality products by using devices such as consumer credit, installment buying, non-functioning and defective designs, built-in fragility, and frequent superficial "fashion" changes. Credit is the provision of resources (such as granting a Loan) by one party to another party where that second party does not reimburse the first party immediately thereby generating Hire purchase (frequently abbreviated to HP) is the legal term for a contract developed in the United Kingdom and now found in India Australia New Zealand Ireland Planned obsolescence (also built-in obsolescence The purpose of planned obsolescence is to hide the real cost per use from the consumer and charge a higher price than they would "Without constant enticement by advertising", he explains, "production would slow down and level off to normal replacement demand. Advertising is a form of Communication that typically attempts to persuade potential Customers to Purchase or to consume more of a particular Brand Otherwise many products could reach a plateau of efficient design which would call for only minimal changes from year to year. "
He uses his own refrigerator as an example, explaining that it "has been in service for nineteen years, with only a single minor repair: an admirable job. A refrigerator (often called a " fridge " for short is a cooling appliance comprising a thermally insulated compartment and a Heat pump - Both automatic refrigerators for daily use and deepfreeze preservation are inventions of permanent value . . . if biotechnic criteria were heeded, rather than those of market analysts and fashion experts, an equally good product might come forth from Detroit, with an equally long prospect of continued use. "
Mumford describes an organic model of technology, or biotechnics, as a contrast to megatechnics. Organic systems direct themselves to "qualitative richness, amplitude, spaciousness, and freedom from quantitative pressures and crowding. Self-regulation, self-correction, and self-propulsion are as much an integral property of organisms as nutrition, reproduction, growth, and repair. " Biotechnics models life in seeking balance, wholeness, and completeness.
A key idea, introduced in Technics and Civilization (1934) was that technology was twofold:
Mumford commonly criticized modern America's transportation networks as being 'monotechnic' in their reliance on cars. Automobiles become obstacles for other modes of transportation, such as walking, bicycle and public transit, because the roads they use consume so much space and are such a danger to people. Walking (also called ambulation) is the main form of Animal Locomotion on land, distinguished from Running and crawling The bicycle, cycle, or bike is a pedal-driven, human-powered vehicle with two wheels attached to a frame, one behind Mumford explains that the thousands of maimed and dead each year as a result of automobile accidents are a "ritual sacrifice" the American society makes because of its extreme reliance on highway transport. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Before adding any more images to this * * page please do carefully consider * * whether they would be mere decoration * * or actually improve
Mumford also refers to large hierarchical organizations as megamachines—a machine using humans as its components. @@@ main@@@ - title Hierarchy@@@ keywords structure; sociology; information@@@ review@@@ - A machine is any device that uses Energy to perform some activity These organizations comprise Mumford's stage theory of civilization. Stage theories are based on the idea that elements in systems move through a pattern of distinct stages over time and that these stages can be described based on their distinguishing The most recent Megamachine manifests itself, according to Mumford, in modern technocratic nuclear powers—Mumford used the examples of the Soviet and US power complexes represented by the Kremlin and the Pentagon, respectively. Technocracy: A form of government in which scientists and technical experts are in control "technocracy is described as that society in which those who govern justify themselves Nations that are known or believed to possess Nuclear weapons are sometimes referred to as the nuclear club. A soviet (сове́т, "council" originally was a workers' local council in late Imperial Russia. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the View01jpg|thumb|right|250px|Remains of the Kolomna Kremlin]] Kremlin (Кремль Kreml) is the Russian word for "fortress" "citadel" or "castle" The Pentagon is the Headquarters of the United States Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, Virginia. The builders of the Pyramids, the Roman Empire and the armies of the World Wars are prior examples. The Egyptian pyramids are pyramid shaped structures located in Egypt, and were built as a tomb for dead pharaohs The Roman Empire was the post-Republican phase of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial A world war is a War affecting the majority of the world's most powerful and populous nations
He explains that meticulous attention to accounting and standardization, and elevation of military leaders to divine status are spontaneous features of megamachines throughout the history. He cites such examples as the repetitive nature of Egyptian paintings which feature enlarged Pharaohs and public display of enlarged portraits of dictators such as Mao Zedong and Joseph Stalin. Pharaoh is the title given in modern parlance to the ancient Egyptian kings of all periods Mao Zedong ( 26 December 1893 – 9 September 1976) was a Chinese Military and political leader who led Joseph Stalin ( ნამდვილი გვარი ჯუღაშვილი|Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili; March 5 1953 was General Secretary of the Communist Party He also cites the overwhelming prevalence of quantitative accounting records among surviving historical fragments, from ancient Egypt to Nazi Germany. Ancient Egypt was an Ancient Civilization in eastern North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in what is now Nazi Germany and the Third Reich are the common English names for Germany under the regime of Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers
Necessary to the construction of these megamachines is an enormous bureaucracy of humans which act as "servo-units", working without ethical involvement. Bureaucracy is the structure and set of regulations in place to control activity usually in large organizations and government Technological improvements such as remote control by satellite or radio, instant global communication, and assembly line organizations dampen psychological barriers against the end result of their actions, according to Mumford. A remote control is an electronic device used for the remote operation of a Machine. This article is about artificial satellites For natural satellites also known as moons see Natural satellite. An assembly line is a Manufacturing process in which parts (usually Interchangeable parts) are added to a product in a sequential manner using optimally planned An example which he uses is that of Adolf Eichmann, the Nazi official who conducted logistics behind the Holocaust. The Holocaust (from the Greek el ''ὁλόκαυστον'' (el-Latn holókauston holos, "completely" and kaustos, "burnt" also known as Mumford collectively refers to people willing to carry out placidly the extreme goals of these megamachines as "Eichmanns".
One of the better-known studies of Mumford is of the way the mechanical clock was developed by monks in the Middle Ages and subsequently adopted by the rest of society. Circadian Locomotor Output Cycles Kaput, or Clock is a gene which encodes proteins regulating Circadian rhythm. He viewed this device as the key invention of the whole Industrial Revolution, contrary to the common view of the steam engine holding the prime position, writing: "The clock is a piece of machinery whose 'product' is seconds and minutes. The Industrial Revolution was a period in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture manufacturing and transportation had a profound effect on the A steam engine is a Heat engine that performs Mechanical work using Steam as its Working fluid. "
In his influential book The City in History, which won the National Book Award, Mumford explores the development of urban civilizations. The City in History Its Origins Its Transformations and Its Prospects is a 1961 National Book Award winner by American Historian Lewis Mumford The National Book Awards are among the most eminent literary prizes in the United States. Harshly critical of urban sprawl, Mumford argues that the structure of modern cities is partially responsible for many social problems seen in western society. Urban sprawl, also known as suburban sprawl, is the spreading of a city and its Suburbs over rural land at the fringe of an urban area While pessimistic in tone, Mumford argues that urban planning should emphasize an organic relationship between people and their living spaces. Pessimism, from the Latin pessimus (worst is the decision to evaluate perceive and view life in a generally negative light
Mumford uses the example of the medieval city as the basis for the "ideal city", and claims that the modern city is too close to the Roman city (the sprawling megalopolis) which ended in collapse; if the modern city carries on in the same vein, Mumford argues, then it will meet the same fate as the Roman city.
Mumford wrote critically of urban culture believing the city is “a product of earth … a fact of nature … man's method of expression”. Urban culture is the Culture of cities. Cities all over the world past and present have behaviors and cultural elements that separate them from otherwise comparable  Further Mumford recognised the crises facing urban culture, distrusting of the growing finance industry, political structures, fearful that a local community culture was not being fostered by these institutions. Mumford feared 'metropolitan finance’, urbanisation, politics and alienation. Urbanizationn (also spelled urbanisation) is the physical growth of Urban areas into rural or natural land as a result of population in-migration to an existing Politics Politics is the process by which groups of people make decisions In Sociology and Critical social theory, alienation refers to an individual's estrangement from traditional community and others in general
While Mumford's writing exhibits much original research and a uniquely "Mumfordian" approach to history and technology, his style often incorporates powerful rhetorical subtleties and psychoanalytical interpretations of philosophical figures. Rhetoric has had many definitions no simple definition can do it justice Psychoanalysis is a body of ideas developed by Austrian physician Sigmund Freud and his followers which is devoted to the study of human psychological functioning and behavior A Mumford essay also tends to be multidisciplinary, combining references and images from an often startlingly wide range of studies.
In cataloguing the "obsession" of classic thinkers with space travel, Mumford turns his attention to an obscure work by Johannes Kepler entitled Somnium where Kepler speculates about the possibilities of lunar travel (supposedly attainable as early as 1609). Johannes Kepler (ˈkɛplɚ ( December 27 1571 &ndash November 15 1630) was a German Mathematician, Astronomer Somnium ( Latin for The Dream) is a fantasy written between 1620 and 1630 by Johannes Kepler in which a student of Tycho Brahe is transported Mumford cites this work as an example of a science-driven transition from Heaven to space travel as the salvation and ultimate goal of the human race—a recurring theme of Mumford's writings loosely summarized as sun worship which, according to Mumford, is a psychotic emanation from the "collective psyche" of mankind. Heaven may refer to the physical heavens the sky or the seemingly endless expanse of the Universe beyond A human spaceflight is a Spaceflight with a human crew, and possibly passengers "Sun god" redirects here For the Ramsey Lewis album see Sun Goddess (album. Psychosis (from the Greek ψυχή "psyche" for mind or soul and -οσις "-osis" for abnormal condition with adjective psychotic Collective Unconscious or known to laymen as Collective Subconscious is a term of Analytical psychology, Coined by Carl Jung.
After illustrating Kepler's "keen grasp of the embarrassing details" and inferring interior compulsions were to blame, Mumford charges Kepler with being "steeped in sun-worship". While these inflections lie below the level of outright attack they are dismissive of Kepler's reasoning and even speculate as to his subconscious motivations. An ad hominem argument, also known as argumentum ad hominem ( Latin: "argument to the man" "argument against the man"
Mumford's interest in the history of technology and his explanation of "polytechnics", along with his general philosophical bent, has been an important influence on a number of more recent thinkers concerned that technology serve human beings as broadly and well as possible. Some of these authors — such as Jacques Ellul, Witold Rybczynski, Amory Lovins, J. Baldwin, E. F. Schumacher, Herbert Marcuse, Murray Bookchin, Marshall McLuhan — have been both intellectuals and persons directly involved with technological development and decisions about the use of technology. Jacques Ellul ( January 6 1912 &ndash May 19 1994) was a French Philosopher, sociologist, theologian Witold Rybczynski (born in 1943 in Edinburgh, Scotland) is a Canadian architect, Professor and Writer. Amory Bloch Lovins (born November 13 1947 in Washington DC) is Chairman and Chief Scientist of the Rocky Mountain Institute, a MacArthur James Tennant Baldwin (born 1933 (whose books and articles have been published under the names J Ernst Friedrich "Fritz" Schumacher ( 16 August 1911 &ndash 4 September 1977) was an internationally influential Economic Herbert Marcuse ( July 19, 1898 &ndash July 29, 1979) was a German philosopher and sociologist, and a member of Murray Bookchin ( January 14, 1921 – July 30, 2006) was an American libertarian socialist, political and social
It is also evident in the work of some artists. This includes Berenice Abbott's photographs of New York City in the late 1930s. Berenice Abbott ( July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991) born Bernice Abbott, was an American Photographer 
His works also influenced a myriad of landscape architects such as John Nolen who saw the need for cities to be designed as organic in nature.