I have always held Harvard as a forward-thinking university. This novel, and a quick confirmation on Google, taught me that it wasn’t always so. From my previous reading on American history it seemed to me that Harvard has always strove to innovate, but it seems that around that time Harvard upheld its religious standards higher than its scientific ones.
The university wouldn’t admit students who weren’t Christians, and opposed ideas that did not agree with the Christian dogma based on nothing but the ridiculous idea that religion shouldn’t be questioned.
A few of the chapters are told in flashbacks to the characters’ Civil War experience and how that experience came to influence them at the current timeline. Personally, I would have loved to read more about that era, chapters switching between war experience and how they affect peacetime experiences. Also about how the war technology which was meant to destroy can also be used to rebuild.
Overall, while not a page turner, I found The Technologists to be a solid, above average mystery, which holds itself together well, written by a gifted author.
This book reminded me of: A Fierce Radiance by Lauren Belfer.