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Materializing the Military (Artefacts: Studies in the History of Science and Technology) [Paperback]

Bernard S. Finn , Bart Hacker , Robert Bud , Helmuth Trischler

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Artefacts is a book series in which the editors encourage authors to use objects as evidence for their studies of the history of science and technology. In "Materializing the Military", with its focus on military technology, the results are innovative and provocative. Topics as diverse as fourteenth-century Burgundian artillery and twentieth-century US Army Air Corps sextants, uniforms for volunteers and prosthetics for the disabled, the material culture of warfare and the cultural implications of the material relics of warfare are all given new meaning through interpretation based on examining the objects themselves, as witnessed by the generous use of photographs of the artefacts. Also included is an essay on the specific problems of presenting military history through the use of objects in military collections, together with an annotated list of selected military, naval and air museums. Authors, who are from academic institutions and museums, bring a variety or perspectives to these writings from such disciplinary backgrounds as archaeology, museum studies, military history and the history of medicine, as well as the history of science and technology.

This book will appeal to serious students of military history, to curators and others in all museums of the history of science and technology, as well as specifically military museums. Nevertheless, the level of writing and the subjects covered should also make it valuable to a range of amateur historians interested in these subjects.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the military and military history from perspective of objects and artifacts 29 Aug 2005
By Henry Berry - Published on Amazon.com
This work is a part of the series named "Artefacts" associated with London's Science Museum, whose editors "encourage authors to use objects as evidence for their studies of the history of science and technology." The eleven chapters of this volume were written by authors from universities and museums. The topics vary widely, from 15th-century Valois Burgundian artillery, World War I U.S. women's uniforms, the display of arms in museums, artifacts of the German occupation of Britain's Channel Islands in WWII, to the use and image of U.S. submarines in the Cold War. The essays get at what can be learned about the respective military forces of the time and also what can be learned about the relationship between such forces and the society of which they were a part.
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