Paper: paging through history

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From the New York Times best-selling author of Cod and Salt, a definitive history of paper and the astonishing ways it has shaped today's world.


Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability. One has only to look at history's greatest press run, which produced 6.5 billion copies of Máo zhuxí yulu, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong)—which doesn't include editions in 37 foreign languages and in braille—to appreciate the range and influence of a single publication, in paper. Or take the fact that one of history's most revered artists, Leonardo da Vinci, left behind only 15 paintings but 4,000 works on paper. And though the colonies were at the time calling for a boycott of all British goods, the one exception they made speaks to the essentiality of the material; they penned the Declaration of Independence on British paper.


Now, amid discussion of "going paperless"—and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant—we've come to a world-historic juncture. Thousands of years ago, Socrates and Plato warned that written language would be the end of "true knowledge," replacing the need to exercise memory and think through complex questions. Similar arguments were made about the switch from handwritten to printed books, and today about the role of computer technology. By tracing paper's evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology's influence, affirming that paper is here to stay. Paper will be the commodity history that guides us forward in the twenty-first century and illuminates our times.

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ISBN:
9781410490070
9781501944826
9780393239614
9780393285482
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Grouped Work ID 3ee51b03-fa84-00ca-ab41-d1df151dfb6f
full_title paper paging through history
author kurlansky mark
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2017-03-29 16:50:01PM

Solr Details

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auth_author2 Garman, Andrew (Narrator)
author Mark Kurlansky
author-letter Kurlansky, Mark.
author2 Findaway World, LLC., Garman, Andrew (Narrator), Playaway Digital Audio., Recorded Books, Inc.
author2-role Findaway World, LLC., Garman, Andrew(Narrator)|Narrator, Playaway Digital Audio., Recorded Books, Inc.
author_additional Mark Kurlansky., by Mark Kurlansky.
author_display Kurlansky, Mark
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available_at_catalog Huron Street
bisac_subject HISTORY / World, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies, TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / History
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display_description

From the New York Times best-selling author of Cod and Salt, a definitive history of paper and the astonishing ways it has shaped today's world.

Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability. One has only to look at history's greatest press run, which produced 6.5 billion copies of Máo zhuxí yulu, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong)—which doesn't include editions in 37 foreign languages and in braille—to appreciate the range and influence of a single publication, in paper. Or take the fact that one of history's most revered artists, Leonardo da Vinci, left behind only 15 paintings but 4,000 works on paper. And though the colonies were at the time calling for a boycott of all British goods, the one exception they made speaks to the essentiality of the material; they penned the Declaration of Independence on British paper.

Now, amid discussion of "going paperless"—and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant—we've come to a world-historic juncture. Thousands of years ago, Socrates and Plato warned that written language would be the end of "true knowledge," replacing the need to exercise memory and think through complex questions. Similar arguments were made about the switch from handwritten to printed books, and today about the role of computer technology. By tracing paper's evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology's influence, affirming that paper is here to stay. Paper will be the commodity history that guides us forward in the twenty-first century and illuminates our times.

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popularity 18
primary_isbn 9781410490070
publishDate 2016
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publisher Findaway World, LLC ;, Thorndike Press, A part of Gale, Cengage Learning, Gale Cengage Learning,, W. W. Norton & Company, W.W. Norton & Company,, [Distributed exclusively by] Recorded Books, Inc.,
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series Thorndike Press large print nonfiction
series2 Thorndike Press Large Print Non-Fiction
series_with_volume Thorndike Press large print nonfiction
subject_facet Audiobooks, HISTORY / World, History, Paper industry, Paper industry -- History, Papermaking, Papermaking -- History, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies, TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / History
target_audience Adult
target_audience_full Adult
title Paper : paging through history
title_display Paper : paging through history
title_full Paper : paging through history / Mark Kurlansky, Paper : paging through history / by Mark Kurlansky, Paper Paging Through History, Paper [electronic resource] : paging through history / Mark Kurlansky
title_short Paper :
title_sort paper paging through history
title_sub paging through history
topic HISTORY / World, History, Nonfiction, Paper industry, Paper industry History, Papermaking, Papermaking History, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies, TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / History
topic_facet History, Nonfiction, Paper industry, Papermaking