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24th September 2021 Rosa Chalfen (2019, English)

Dr Jean-Michel Johnston publishes new book

Exeter alumnus Dr Jean-Michel Johnston (2008, Modern British and European History) has published a new book entitled Networks of Modernity: Germany in the Age of the Telegraph 1830-1880.

The book explores how Germany’s nineteenth-century communications revolution shaped state and society, focussing on the telegraph and how it was developed and used during the period of 1830-1880. Drawing on evidence from Prussia, Bavaria and several towns in Eastern Europe, the book reveals the channels through which knowledge circulated across the region and highlights the impact of the telegraph on Germany during this turbulent political period. By following the telegraph lines themselves, it revisits the changes that the technology wrought at a local, regional and national level, as well as how the period laid the foundations for Germany’s emergence as a nation of networked modernity.

Dr Jean-Michel Johnston is currently a Fellow and College Lecturer in Modern History at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge. After studying at Exeter, he obtained his D.Phil from Oxford and worked on the ERC-funded ‘Diseases of Modern Life: Nineteenth-Century Perspectives’ as a researcher.

The book is available to read for free online here. 

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