Here's the publisher's description of the book:
As technology transforms our lives at an ever quickening rate, Donald Cardwell reminds us that technological innovation is not created in a vacuum-rather, it is the product of the successful interaction between social change, scientific developments, and political vision.
In this wide-ranging, survey of the machines and tools that humans have developed throughout history, Cardwell not only explains the mechanical technicalities but also delves into the underlying trends that have culminated in eras of great change. In particular, he highlights the eighteenth century as a watershed in the modern history of technology, analyzing how scientific developments in physics and chemistry spurred the mechanical innovations of the Industrial Revolution. From the steam engine to electrical power to nuclear energy to today's world of electronics and computers, this book opens a discussion of how science and technology together change our lives. Originally published as The Norton History of Technology.