Record Details

Catalog Search

Invention and innovation : a brief history of hype and failure  Cover Image Book Book

Invention and innovation : a brief history of hype and failure / Vaclav Smil.

Smil, Vaclav, (author.).


"Smil presents the long history and modern infatuation with invention and innovation. Meticulous as always, these vast realms of human ingenuity are organized into sensible categories: inventions that went from welcome to undesirable, inventions that dominate and missed the mark, inventions we still dream about, and lastly, the exaggerations, myths, and wise expectations for innovations we need most"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780262048057
  • ISBN: 0262048051
  • Physical Description: 219 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm
  • Publisher: Cambridge, Massachusetts : The MIT Press, [2023]

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
1. Invention and innovation : a long history and modern infatuation -- 2. Inventions that turned from welcome to undesirable. Leaded gasoline ; DDT ; Chlorofluorocarbons -- 3. Inventions that were to dominate -- and do not. Airships ; Nuclear fission ; Supersonic flight -- 4. Inventions that we keep waiting for. Travel in vacuum (hyperloop) ; Nitrogen-fixing cereals ; Nuclear fusion -- 5. Techno-optimism, exaggerations and realistic expectations. Breakthroughs that are not ; Myth of ever-faster innovations ; What we need most.
Subject: Inventions > Defects > History > Popular works.
System failures (Engineering) > History.
New products > History.
Errors > History.
Technological forecasting.

Available copies

  • 2 of 3 copies available at Missouri Evergreen. (Show)
  • 1 of 1 copy available at North Kansas City.


  • 0 current holds with 3 total copies.
Show Only Available Copies
Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
North Kansas City Public Library 600 SMIL 2023 (Text) 0001012505950 Nonfiction New Available -

Additional Resources