Investigation of the effect of the machine upon society has only recently begun to claim the attention of writers. Some books which have appeared of late have been highly technical in nature and written by experts for experts. Others, making their appeal in more sensational manner, have featured a few dramatic developments. Still others have tried to prophesy the effects of invention in the far distant future.
In the preparation of this volume an attempt has been made to avoid established paths. The authors have tried to present a balanced picture which might aid the student and the citizen to gain some perspective of the kind of world which they are called upon and will be called upon to face. In their opinion, the realities of today and the potentialities of the next decade or two are exciting enough to stimulate the interest of any man.
During the course of their work the authors have received advice and cooperation from members of the National Resources Planning Board, as well as from contributors to the various excellent reports published under the auspices of the Board. They have also drawn upon the unique studies carried on under the W. P. A.'s National Research Project on Reemployment Opportunities and Recent Changes in Industrial Techniques.
Acknowledgments are made to the following: Dr. S. C. Gilfillan, formerly of Purdue University; Dr. Bernhard J. Stern, Columbia University; A. A. Potter, Dean of Engineering, Purdue University; Harold A. Osgood, Vice-President, Fulton Iron Works Company, St. Louis, Mo.; Commander T. A. M. Craven and Committee, Federal Communications Commission; S. H. McCrory, R. F. Hendrickson, and Committee, U. S. Department of Agriculture; Lowell J. Chawner,