Technologies without Boundaries: On Telecommunications in a Global Age

Technologies without Boundaries: On Telecommunications in a Global Age
by Ithiel De Sola Pool

Harvard University Press
C, GA **


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This text is a posthumously published work of one of the foremost political scientists of this century. With the book unfinished at Pool's death, the final draft was edited by Eli Noam of Columbia University. The book is a personal view of the social and political consequences of communication technology. The basic premise is that, just as printing did five centuries ago, telecommunications will cause fundamental political and social changes in the world order. The text is organized into three parts: "Communications and the Changing Environment," "Satellites, Computers, and Global Relations," and "Ecology, Culture, and Communications Technology." Throughout the text, technology is described adequately and accurately, without the arcane language of the engineer. There are thought-provoking chapters on communications in less-developed countries, communications and world leadership, and technology and culture. Pool examines the future of books, trade-offs between communications and transportation, the future of the megalopolis, patterns of urban settlement, world trade in knowledge, telecommunications as a projection of national power, and the American role in the new order. This stimulating text is ideal for corporate policymakers, telecommunications engineers, and students of journalism, communications, political science, sociology, and electrical engineering.

--Reviewed by G. William Troxler in Science Books and Films, 27/3 (April 1991), p. 68.