Yves BOUVIER and Léonard LABORIE, eds., L’Europe en transitions. Énergie, mobilité, communication XVIIIe-XXIe siècles, Paris, Nouveau Monde, Collection “LabEx EHNE,” 2016.
This work sheds innovative light on the subject by placing the notion of “transition”
within a historical perspective. The authors approach European history as that of a material civilization that has continued to be in transition since the 18th century, doing so through case studies centered on periods of uncertainty and reconfiguration: the search for alternative energy sources to wood and later carbon, the concomitant transformation of ships and ports at the time of the encounter between sail and steam power, the debates surrounding freeways with the rise of automobilism and increasingly dense flows, European investments in renewable energy, the transition from the minitel to digital networks, the disappearance of the heroic entrepreneur in war.
The work is also a reflection on the complexity unique to these periods, in which anticipation was more than ever a part of history.
Table of contents:
- Introduction. Europe as a material civilization in transition. Yves Bouvier and Léonard Laborie.
- The Ancien Régime in search of an energy transition? 18th century France confronted by wood. Reynald Abad.
- “Overthrowing king carbon.” Imagining the energy transition in Great Britain, 1865-1914. Charles-François Mathis
- Unveiling sail. Naval construction during the 19th century. Géraldine Barron
- Sail and steam, maritime ports in transition during the 19th century. Bruno Marnot
- “Fin de siècle” lights in Europe, 1880-1914. Alain Beltran
- “Golden roads” and “automobiles for all.” Connecting the archeology of French freeways with the European horizon. Mathieu Flonneau
- Renewing energy in Europe since the 1950s. A European perspective with no common policy. Yves Bouvier
- From telematics to the Web. The European transition of digital networks. Valérie Schafer and Benjamin G. Thierry
- Individual trajectories and information transition: can innovative Europe do without heroes? Pascal Griset