Noise control--Great Britain--History, Noise--Health aspects--Great Britain--History, City noise--Great Britain--History, Noise--Social aspects--Great Britain--History, and Industrial noise--Great Britain--History
Sound transformed British life in the'age of noise'between 1914 and 1945. The sonic maelstrom of mechanized society bred anger and anxiety and even led observers to forecast the end of civilization. The noise was, as James G. Mansell shows, modernity itself, expressed in aural form, with immense implications for the construction of the self. Tracing the ideas, feelings, and representations prompted by life in early twentieth century Britain, Mansell examines how and why sound shaped the self. He works at the crux of cultural and intellectual history, analyzing the meanings that were attached to different types of sound, who created these typologies and why, and how these meanings connected to debates about modernity. From traffic noise to air raids, everyday sounds elicited new ways of thinking about being modern. Each individual negotiated his or her own subjective meanings through hopes or fears for sound. As Mansell considers the different ways Britons heard their world, he reveals why we must take sound into account in our studies of cultural and social history.
Building upon recent innovations in the study of auditory culture, Sounds Modern presents a history of ideas produced in reaction to the twentieth-century SoundScape. The audible vibrations of new technologies, mechanised warfare and mass culture set in motion a perceptual revolution either side of the Great War in which sound took centre-stage. Hosting and inspiring this revolution, London and Paris, the case-studies upon which the thesis is based, drew in a generation of sound-sensitive thinkers who were keen to explore the aural dimensions of urban experience.