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Connecting the Nineteenth-Century World
The Telegraph and Globalization


  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107616608

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About the Authors
  • By the end of the nineteenth century the global telegraph network had connected all continents and brought distant people into direct communication 'at the speed of thought' for the first time. Roland Wenzlhuemer here examines the links between the development of the telegraph and the paths of globalization, and the ways in which global spaces were transformed by this technological advance. His groundbreaking approach combines cultural studies with social science methodology, including evidence based on historical GIS mapping, to shed new light on both the structural conditions of the global telegraph network and the historical agency of its users. The book reveals what it meant for people to be telegraphically connected or unconnected, how people engaged with the technology, how the use of telegraphy affected communication itself and, ultimately, whether faster communication alone can explain the central role that telegraphy occupied in nineteenth-century globalization.

    • Critical examination of the relationship between technological change and globalization
    • Integrates approaches from cultural studies and across the social sciences
    • Numerous maps illustrate the extent and reach of the telegraph network across time
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Wenzlhuemer's Connecting the Nineteenth-Century World is an important and useful book for historians of technology and capitalism. I wish it had been available when I wrote my own on the American telegraph industry.' David Hochfelder, ICON: Journal of the International Committee for the History of Technology

    '… a well written and entertaining story about the technological development and the sociocultural impact of the actors and the structures of the telegraph in a globalising world in the second half of the nineteenth century.' Michael Mann, H-Soz-u-Kult

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107616608
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus. 25 maps 6 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The telegraph and globalization
    3. The technological history of telegraphy
    4. Telegraphy in context
    5. The global telegraph network
    6. Global centres and peripheries
    7. The British telegraph network
    8. The British Indian telegraph network
    9. Conclusion

  • Author

    Roland Wenzlhuemer, Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg, Germany
    Roland Wenzlhuemer is a research group leader within the Cluster of Excellence 'Asia and Europe in a Global Context' at Heidelberg University. His previous publications include From Coffee to Tea Cultivation in Ceylon, 1880–1900: An Economic and Social History (2008) and Global Communication: Telecommunication and Global Flows of Information in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century (as editor, 2010).

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