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"This interesting, well-written volume offers an introduction to the history of Western science through an examination of the influence of artisans, craftspeople, and other practitioners such as weavers, painters, architect/engineers, instrument makers, and mariners on the emerging disciplines of the scientific revolution and the new humanism. Independent historian Long, focusing on the 15th-17th centuries, makes generous use of primary sources. She advances a perspective that goes beyond not only the early Marxist and Vienna circle accounts, but those of the later Anglo-American historians as well. She suggests that while the artisanal influence was substantial, the dichotomous categories usually employed—artisan/scholar, handworker/theorist, experimental/mathematical, etc.—were oversimplifications. In practice, there were informal, loosely drawn 'trading zones' where considerations of the practical categories of material production and engineering, for example, could lead naturally to broader and more abstract discussions of both the essential nature of matter and the foundations of natural phenomena. These areas of mutual interest facilitated the broad adoption of a variety of empirical practices, once almost exclusively the realm of artisan/practitioners, by more formal and scholarly investigators in both the sciences and humanities. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above." —R. M. Davis, emeritus, Albion College, Choice Magazine


"This book is aimed at a nonspecialist audience (p. 6), but it is so effective in demonstrating the complexities of historical development and in providing substantial historiographical context that it seems even better suited for graduate students and for historians of science interested in the ways their field has developed, entangled as it is in so many others. The bibliography and notes are excellent."

Shana Worthen, University of Arkansas at Little Rock


" ... This is an excellent introduction to the field and exactly the book that I would give to graduate students or advanced undergraduates in a survey course of the history of technology of early modern science in order to engage in the curent scholarly debate about knowledge, epistemology, and practice."

Steven A. Walton, Aestimatio 2014

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