ECU Libraries Catalog

Nathaniel Bowditch and the power of numbers : how a nineteenth-century man of business, science, and the sea changed American life / Tamara Plakins Thornton.

Author/creator Thornton, Tamara Plakins, 1957- author.
Format Book and Print
Publication Info Chapel Hill : The University of North Carolina Press, [2016]
Descriptionpages cm
Abstract "Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), a mathematician, astronomer, and insurance executive--and a major agent of Enlightenment-era change ... took his personal work habits and blended them with the certainty and predictability of the science that he studied, creating something completely new for his time: the impersonal bureaucracy. Enthralled with the precision and certainty of numbers and the unerring regularity of the physical universe, Bowditch shaped some of New England's most powerful institutions, from financial corporations to Harvard College, into clockwork mechanisms. He ran his insurance company with rule-bound regularity, implementing systematic and novel paperwork procedures, methodical bookkeeping practices, and standardized filing systems, helping to usher in a new era of intellectual history"-- Provided by publisher.
Bibliography noteIncludes bibliographical references and index.
LCCN 2015032057
ISBN9781469626932 (cloth ; alk. paper)
ISBN1469626934 (cloth ; alk. paper)

Available Items

Library Location Call Number Status Item Actions
Joyner General Stacks QB36 .B7 T55 2016 ✔ Available Place Hold

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