The American Robot: A Cultural History

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University of Chicago Press
Publish Date
6.1 X 1.1 X 9.1 inches | 1.45 pounds
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About the Author
Dustin A. Abnet is assistant professor of American studies at California State University, Fullerton.
"Thoroughly researched and engagingly written, The American Robot contextualizes centuries of discussions of artificial intelligence and cyborgs. With a dual focus on who was imagined to be machine-like and what machines were depicted as being almost human, Abnet demonstrates that robot identities have always been unstable and multifaceted."-- "David Nye, author of American Technological Sublime"
"As The American Robot convincingly demonstrates, we are not the first generation to worry about the power, role, and meaning of robots. Abnet's fascinating and engaging book traces American discussions of mechanized men, automata, and robots from the eighteenth century to the twenty-first. His book makes a compelling case that debates about robots are really ways of thinking about freedom, power, and what it means to be human."-- "Susan J. Matt, coauthor of Bored, Lonely, Angry, Stupid"
"Gracefully written and creatively researched, The American Robot not only tracks representations of robots from Frankenstein to Westworld, it also helps us to understand the manifold ways that ideas about difference, slavery, republicanism, mechanization, post-industrialism (and more) have regularly been inflected through these not quite human approximations of ourselves. An important and timely book."-- "James W. Cook, University of Michigan"