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The Book

, 192 pages

17 halftones, 4 line drawings

September 2009



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Usually ships 2-3 business days after receipt of order.

The Book

The Life Story of a Technology

The printed book is one of life’s most frequently encountered technologies. Historian Nicole Howard provides a comprehensive survey of the evolution of this technology, tracing its development across many centuries and cultures.

No other technology in human history, declares Howard, has had the impact of this invention. By examining the book as a technology, Howard reveals how profoundly information and media have shaped history and how vital the technology of the book has been to cultural and intellectual change.

This engaging study extends from clay tablets and rolls of papyrus to bound folio sheets, from inks and scripts to lead type and printing presses, from the Linotype machine to the laptop. Cross-cultural in scope, it examines innovations in the production and manufacture of books from the Middle and Far East, Europe, and the Americas. Howard recounts printing techniques from Gutenberg’s first press to 21st-century electronic publishing.

Howard’s broad overview and accessible writing style make this book ideal for students and bibliophiles alike. The volume includes a glossary of terms, a timeline of important events, and a selected bibliography of useful resources for further information.

Nicole Howard is an associate professor of history at California State University, East Bay.

"The book is arguably the one technology that has made all others possible... What Howard does is provide an exceedingly accessible retelling of the book's life story, one that shows precisely how books represent a peak of technology, giving permanence and form to ideas and relevance and resonance to their readers."

"A very succinct history of the book that will be quite useful, in introductory book history courses as a survey text (or by any bibliophile who wants to know more.)"

"An excellent, clearly written, and acessible introduction to the history of the book and the printing press. Highly recommended both for book history students and interested general audiences."

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