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Lifted: A Cultural History of the Elevator Hardcover – 14 Feb 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 309 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (14 Feb. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814787169
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814787168
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 969,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

-Lifted is a spaciously researched and thought-out popular history. It can be read with pleasure by anyone who has wondered how residential buildings got to be so tall. Andreas Bernard doesn't provide any tips about elevator etiquette. But his imaginative book contains just about everything else most people might want to know about elevators and the ways they have shaped the contemporary city.--John Bentley Mays, The Globe and Mail

"A well-informed and engaging cultural history. . . . What's more, Bernard manages to dissect processes that have shaped the transition from the 19th century to the 20th, illustrating the elusive phenomenon of 'modernity. After reading this study, it becomes at least temporarily impossible to use a lift without a brief contemplation of what it may particularly signify in the here and now."-Ulrike Zitzlsperger, Times Higher Education

"Bernard's passion for research is as impressive as the ease with which he--elevator-like--moves between the disciplines of literature, art history, sociology, and psychology."-Der Spiegel

"The book consists of a series of interesting historical cultural speculations and observations about the elevator. Readers seeking... an intellectually entertaining series of discourses will be delighted."-The Historian

"He treats the elevator as an individual technological and cultural phenomenon, whereas previously the innovation has been mainly a supporting character in histories of technology and architecture."-Choice

"Those seeking an intellectually entertaining series of discourses will be delighted."-Historian

"Andreas Bernard, a German newspaper editor, has written a history of the now-ubiquitous lift. Elevators made tall buildings, and thus modern urban life, possible . . . the anecdotes and insights are captivating."-The Economist

"Bernard writes from a refreshingly European (and specifically German) perspective even if North America, and in particular, Manhattan, emerges as a key locus . . . amusingly obsessive, impressively erudite."-Times Literary Supplement

"For most of us, the innocuous topic of the elevator is hardly the stuff of cutting-edge historical theory. But in this translation by Dollenmayer (German language & literature, Worcester Polytechnic Inst.), Bernard's groundbreaking 2011 German treatise on the revolutionary transformation of a mundane engineering marvel compels readers to reimagine what they think they know about the modern urban landscape. From Elisha Graves Otis's 1854 demonstration at the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York City to the modern day, Bernard (editor, Suddeutsche Zeitung) scans the literature, philosophy, and history related to the technological innovation and presents a lucid, engaging analysis of just how Otis's elevator has gone from its original 'luster of strangeness' to the 'dull and inconspicuous.' In the process, Bernard reminds us of Georges Canguilhem's dictum that the 'history of science is not a retrospective history of progress nor the depiction of outmoded stages leading to today's truth.' VERDICT Bernard's fascinating work on technological innovation, while at times a bit esoteric, will find a ready audience among readers with a passion for innovative philosophical and cultural histories. Fans of Wolfgang Schivelbusch's The Railway Journey may especially find it appealing."-Library Journal, Brian Odom, Birmingham, AL Library

"[M]any readers will indeed get a lift from Lifted. It is a very special book thoroughly researched and clearly written, and about a subject of great historical interest to a diverse group of academic scholars as well as lay readers."-Journal of American Culture

Review

"A well-informed and engaging cultural history. . . . What’s more, Bernard manages to dissect processes that have shaped the transition from the 19th century to the 20th, illustrating the elusive phenomenon of 'modernity. After reading this study, it becomes at least temporarily impossible to use a lift without a brief contemplation of what it may particularly signify in the here and now."-Ulrike Zitzlsperger,Times Higher Education

“Bernard’s passion for research is as impressive as the ease with which he―elevator-like―moves between the disciplines of literature, art history, sociology, and psychology.”-Der Spiegel

“The book consists of a series of interesting historical cultural speculations and observations about the elevator. Readers seeking… an intellectually entertaining series of discourses will be delighted.”-The Historian

"He treats the elevator as an individual technological and cultural phenomenon, whereas previously the innovation has been mainly a supporting character in histories of technology and architecture."-Choice

“Those seeking an intellectually entertaining series of discourses will be delighted.”-Historian

"Andreas Bernard, a German newspaper editor, has written a history of the now-ubiquitous lift.  Elevators made tall buildings, and thus modern urban life, possible . . . the anecdotes and insights are captivating."-The Economist

“Bernard writes from a refreshingly European (and specifically German) perspective even if North America, and in particular, Manhattan, emerges as a key locus . . . amusingly obsessive, impressively erudite.”-Times Literary Supplement

"For most of us, the innocuous topic of the elevator is hardly the stuff of cutting-edge historical theory. But in this translation by Dollenmayer (German language & literature, Worcester Polytechnic Inst.), Bernard's groundbreaking 2011 German treatise on the revolutionary transformation of a mundane engineering marvel compels readers to reimagine what they think they know about the modern urban landscape. From Elisha Graves Otis's 1854 demonstration at the Exhibition of the Industry of All Nations in New York City to the modern day, Bernard (editor, Süddeutsche Zeitung) scans the literature, philosophy, and history related to the technological innovation and presents a lucid, engaging analysis of just how Otis's elevator has gone from its original 'luster of strangeness' to the 'dull and inconspicuous.' In the process, Bernard reminds us of Georges Canguilhem's dictum that the 'history of science is not a retrospective history of progress nor the depiction of outmoded stages leading to today's truth.' VERDICT Bernard's fascinating work on technological innovation, while at times a bit esoteric, will find a ready audience among readers with a passion for innovative philosophical and cultural histories. Fans of Wolfgang Schivelbusch's The Railway Journey may especially find it appealing."-Library Journal,Brian Odom, Birmingham, AL Library

“[M]any readers will indeed get a lift from Lifted.  It is a very special book thoroughly researched and clearly written, and about a subject of great historical interest to a diverse group of academic scholars as well as lay readers.”-Journal of American Culture

"Andreas Bernard ambitiously explores the relationship between an important technological innovation and its effect upon the imaginative capacities of the residents of European and American cities. . . . Bernard’s most insightful chapter identifies the elevator as the important trigger for producing fears of claustrophobia and of social mixing. He shows how modern films and novels frequently employed the elevator as a critical space for organizing narratives of city life. It was the standard vehicle for conveying the discomfort associated with social mixing in so confined an urban space. . . . Readers will recognize the effectiveness of the argument by the renewed self-consciousness they experience riding elevators after reading the book.”-American Historical Review

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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 March 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
0Comment| One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 8 September 2014
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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Amazon.com: 3.3 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
3 people found this helpful.
3.0 out of 5 starsTHIS COULD HAVE BEEN A FUN AND INTERESTING BOOK BUT THE STUFFY HIGH TONED WRITING STYLE PRECLUDES THIS BEING THE CASE!
on 30 May 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
3.0 out of 5 starsInteresting but difficult
on 30 June 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
5.0 out of 5 starsFive Stars
on 11 July 2016 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover|Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful.
1.0 out of 5 starsA waste of time
on 28 April 2014 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
2 people found this helpful.
4.0 out of 5 starsFascinating read about the uplifting elevator..and an excellent translation
on 24 April 2015 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover

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