A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders : Electricity And Enlightenment in Early America (Hardcover)

Customer Reviews   Write a Review

Be the first to review this item and earn 25 Rakuten Super Points™

Product Overview

Benjamin Franklin's invention of the lightning rod is the founding fable of American science, but Franklin was only one of many early Americans fascinated by electricity. As a dramatically new physical experience, electricity amazed those who dared to tame the lightning and set it coursing through their own bodies. Thanks to its technological and medical utility, but also its surprising ability to defy rational experimental mastery, electricity was a powerful experience of enlightenment, at once social, intellectual, and spiritual.

In this compelling book, James Delbourgo moves beyond Franklin to trace the path of electricity through early American culture, exploring how the relationship between human, natural, and divine powers was understood in the eighteenth century. By examining the lives and visions of natural philosophers, spectacular showmen, religious preachers, and medical therapists, he shows how electrical experiences of wonder, terror, and awe were connected to a broad array of cultural concerns that defined the American Enlightenment. The history of lightning rods, electrical demonstrations, electric eels, and medical electricity reveals how early American science, medicine, and technology were shaped by a culture of commercial performance, evangelical religion, and republican politics from mid-century to the early republic.

The first book to situate early American experimental science in the context of a transatlantic public sphere, "A Most Amazing Scene of Wonders" offers a captivating view of the origins of American science and the cultural meaning of the American Enlightenment. In a story of shocks and sparks from New England to the Caribbean, Delbourgobrilliantly illuminates a revolutionary New World of wonder.

Specifications

Publisher Harvard Univ Pr
Mfg Part# 9780674022997
SKU 202605435
Format Hardcover
ISBN10 0674022998
Release Date 4/10/2007
Product Attributes
Book Format Hardcover
Number of Pages 0367
Publisher Harvard University Press
loading
$108.95 + $5.98 shipping
Rakuten Super Points Earn 109 ($1.09) Rakuten Super Points™
What are Rakuten Super Points™?
Get rewarded when you shop! Earn 1 point per dollar spent. That's like getting cash back on every purchase. Easy to see matured points in checkout. Use points just like cash.
Learn More
Get this item for
(price with shipping)
(redeem points)
Format: Hardcover
Condition: Used-Good
In Stock. Usually Ships in 1 to 2 business days
Please select an option to buy
Add to Cart

What is a Marketplace and Shop Owner?
  • Our marketplace is a platform where approved third-party retailers (Shop Owners) can sell their products
  • Items are sold and shipped by Shop Owners
  • Your credit card and personal information remain secure; Rakuten.com meets all PCI Security Standards.
  • Purchases can only be returned to the Shop Owner
  • All purchases receive Rakuten Super Points™
ADVERTISEMENT
Promotions & Offers (1)
  •  custom promo
    5% Back* Sitewide with Promo Code Rewardme *See page for details
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT