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The Radiance of France: Nuclear Power and National Identity after World War II Paperback – Jul 31 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; new edition edition (July 31 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262582813
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262582810
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #700,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Historian Gabrielle Hecht has brilliantly deployed the tools of the engineer, anthropologist, literary critic, and social theorist to analyze how the nuclear industry became integral to France's revival after World War II. The book has become a landmark in the literature on postwar France and a model for how to blend the history of technology with the study of politics and culture.

(Herrick Chapman, New York University)

Thanks to Gabrielle Hecht's talent and insight, the French nuclear program she explores has turned out to be for STS what the drosophila was for genetic research. This book not only sheds new light on the role of technology in the construction of national identities. It is also a seminal contribution to the history of contemporary France.

(Michel Callon, coauthor of Acting in an Uncertain World)

This elegantly written book is an important contribution to the history of modern France and sets a demanding new standard for social studies of technology.

(Donald MacKenzie, University of Edinburgh, author of An Engine, Not a Camera)

This is a superb book, one that takes up the hazy notion of technological 'style' and transforms it into a complex story of conflict and negotiation about what it means to be French in the late twentieth century, and -- more generally -- what it means to be a participant in a world of high technology.

(Ken Alder, Department of History, Northwestern University)

About the Author

Gabrielle Hecht is Associate Professor in the Department of History at the University of Michigan.

Michel Callon, developer (with Bruno Latour and others) of Actor Network Theory, is Professor at the École des mines de Paris and a Researcher at the Centre de Sociologie de l'innovation there.

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