How The Technological Society Became More Important in the United States than in France

  • Carl Mitcham
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 13)


La Technique ou L’enjeu du siècle has an unusual history. The original French was published in 1954 and made scarcely a ripple in a cultural world dominated by Jean-Paul Sartre (L’être et le néant, 1943; Saint Genet, comédien et martyr, 1952; Question de méthode, 1957) and Albert Camus (La peste, 1947; La chute, 1956). Although La Technique received ten reviews, most were in periodicals associated with French Protestant intellectual life; only one appeared outside France, in Germany. Somewhat surprisingly, the following decades witnessed translations into Spanish (1960), English (1964), Portuguese (1968), Italian (1969), and Japanese (1975). But most publishing houses were second tier and all non-English translations received little notice.


Technological Society Democratic Institution Cultural Criticism Frankfurt School Center Diary 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



For access to the correspondence between Rustum Roy and Jacques Ellul, I want to acknowledge Della Roy, Kathy Mourant, and Darryl Farber at Pennsylvania State University. Farber deserves further recognition and thanks for numerous conversations about the issues discussed in this article. Some issues were also discussed with Rustum Roy himself before his death in 2010. All translations from Ellul’s French are my own.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Liberal Arts and International StudiesColorado School of MinesGoldenUSA

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