Ronald R. Kline is the Bovay Professor in History and Ethics of Engineering at Cornell University. He is the author of Steinmetz: Engineer and Socialist and Consumers in the Country: Technology and Social Change in Rural America.
Nowhere in the burgeoning secondary literature on cybernetics in the last two decades is there a concise history of cybernetics, the science of communication and control that helped usher in the current information age in America. Nowhere, that is, until now... Readers have in The Cybernetics Moment the first authoritative history of American cybernetics. * Information & Culture * [A]n extremely interesting and stimulating history of the concepts of cybernetics... This is a book for everyone to read, relish, and think about. * Choice * As a whole, the book presents a comprehensive in-depth retrospective analysis of the contribution of the American scientific school to the making, formation, and development of cybernetics and information theory. An unquestionable advantage of the book is the skillful use of numerous bibliographic sources by the author that reflect the scientific, engineering, and social significance of the questions being considered, competition of ideas and developments, and also interrelations between scientists. * Cybernetics and System Anaysis * Dr. Kline is perhaps uniquely situated to take on so large and complicated [a] topic as cybernetics... Readers unfamiliar with Wiener and his work are well advised to start with this well-written and thorough book. Those who are already familiar will still find much that is new and informative in the thorough research and reasoned interpretations. * IEEE History Center * The most comprehensive intellectual history of cybernetics in Cold War America. * Journal of American History * The book will be most valuable as historical background for the large number of disciplines that were involved in the cybernetics moment: computer science, communications engineering, information theory, and the social sciences of sociology and anthropology. * IEEE Technology and Society Magazine * Ronald Kline's chronicle of cybernetics certainly does what an excellent history of science should do. It takes you there-to the golden age of a new, exciting field. You will almost smell that cigar. * Second-Order Cybernetics * Kline's The Cybernetics Moment tracks the rise and fall of the cybernetics movement in more detail than any historical account to date. * Los Angeles Review of Books * Kline does a valuable service tracing the contrasting fates of cybernetics and information theory. * Annals of Science * ... The knowledge offered in The Cybernetics Moment will greatly contribute to any reader seeking an enhanced or more comprehensive understanding of our present-day discourse surrounding information, while also providing a detailed and well-warranted history of the science of cybernetics. * Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship * After reading his book, it is impossible to ignore the contribution that cybernetics has made to computational models and techniques used in numerous academic disciplines, and to how so many of these disciplines- from biology and engineering to social sciences and the humanities-operated even in quantitative and social history. With The Cybernetics Moment, Kline has moved cybernetics out of the shadows of intellectual history into the limelight. * The American Historical Review * ... valuable addition to the history of cybernetics... * ICON * This is a book certain to become an instant classic for historians working in the increasingly broad range of scientific and technological disciplines over which the cybernetics moment has cast its long shadow. * Isis * ... Kline's book presents an invaluable resource that sheds light on the conceptual foundations of some of the most convincing investigations of interactions between human civilization and planetary ecologies. * British Society for Literature and Science * This is a book certain to become an instant classic for historians working in the increasingly broad range of scientific and technological disciplines over which the cybernetics moment has cast its long shadow. * Isis *