Paper: Paging Through History

Paper: Paging Through HistoryFrom 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 Efficient Ways Has Supported The Proliferation Of Literacy, Media, Religion, Education, Commerce And Art It Has Created Civilizations, Fostering The Fomenting Of Revolutions And The Stabilizing Of Regimes Witness History S Greatest Press Run, Which Produced 6.5 Billion Copies Of M O Zhu X Yu Lu, Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse Tung Zedong , Or The Fact That Leonardo Da Vinci Left Behind Only 15 Paintings But 4000 Works On Paper Now, On The Cusp Of Going Paperless And Amid Rampant Speculation About The Effects Of A Digitally Dependent Society We Ve Come To A World Historic Juncture To Examine What Paper Means To Civilization Through Tracing Paper S Evolution, Mark Kurlansky Challenges Common Assumptions About Technology S Influence, Affirming That Paper Is Here To Stay Paper Will Be The History That Guides Us Forward In The Twenty First Century And Illuminates Our Times.

Mark Kurlansky born 7 December 1948 in Hartford, Connecticut is a highly acclaimed American journalist and writer of general interest non fiction He is especially known for titles on eclectic topics, such as cod or salt.Kurlansky attended Butler University, where he harbored an early interest in theatre and earned a BA in 1970 However, his interest faded and he began to work as a journalist in

➱ Paper: Paging Through History Read ➹ Author Mark Kurlansky –
  • Hardcover
  • 389 pages
  • Paper: Paging Through History
  • Mark Kurlansky
  • English
  • 28 October 2019
  • 9780393239614

10 thoughts on “Paper: Paging Through History

  1. Diane says:

    This was a fascinating book on the history of paper I especially enjoyed the discussion on technology, and how it s a common myth that technology changes society Instead, Kurlansky argues that society is what changes, and technology is developed to meet the new needs of the people.Besides the interesting look at the various ways that different cultures throughout history have created unique ways of creating paper and recording doc...

  2. Matt says:

    Those who have been following my reviews of late will know that I have been drawn to Mark Kurlansky s work on the history of certain edible items In these pieces, the author depicts the evolution and exponential uses for the products throughout the centuries Here, with the history of paper before me, some may feel that things will take a significant turn towards the mundane Just how interesting can paper be and how can someone extol its virtues for hundreds of pages I, too, was somewhat a skeptic, but also highly curious to see if it could be done in an entertaining and educational manner Kurlansky posits early in the book that it it not paper, per se, that is examined here, but the evolution of human s communication utilising paper as its conduit Still not sold Well, Kurlansky explores some of the early forms of written communication from the development of ancient Chinese through intricate and interconnected symbols through the development of the Roman alphabet and how such thoughts were placed on objects for long term r...

  3. Patty says:

    I m very into microhistories books focused on a specific topic or single event and Kurlansky is one of the best known authors of them, with his book Salt probably the best known microhistory of them all In this book, he takes on paper, which he defines very narrowly a very thin layer of randomly woven fibers , which excludes papyrus, parchment, vellum, and other materials that I d thought were basically the same thing Now I know better And then of course there are all the paper adjacent developments to cover written language itself, numbers, printing, books, art from watercolors to woodblocks to lithographs to photography , ink, newspapers, and even the American Revolution after all, The Stamp Act was pretty important Kurlansky covers paper from prehistory through the Industrial Revolution right up to the modern day, where a trend for hand made paper is pushing back against the last few centuries of machine made.Unfortunately I didn t think this book was quite as fun as the previous books by Kurlansky I ve read Still, it was interesting, and I particularly liked Kurlansky s repeated arguments against technological determinism the idea that new technologies change society Instead, as Kurlansky clearly shows, society changes first, and new technologie...

  4. Jonathan says:

    Disclosure I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley.Some may consider it ironic that one would read a book about paper on an eBook reader And it would probably be better not to, as studies tend to indicate that reading from a paper book results in retention of information But nevertheless I shall endeavor to review this book Paper Paging Through History by Mark Kurlansky.Kurlansky is probably best known for his books Salt and Cod, other sweeping histories of commodities, as well as books on such topics as the Basque people and the year 1968 He is a very skilled writer, and makes his topics interesting and amusing Paper is no exception.This is a book I would describe as a grand history of paper Kurlansky examines paper as a technology, as a commodity, as a phenomenon, as an instrument for social forces to use, as a window into the lives of those involved with its development and production But, with a wider view, he uses paper as a model to argue in opposition to technological determinism.In the modern western world, technology has taken on a fetishistic quality We view it not only as a means to an end, but also as the end itself We assume that technology guides society for instance, the rise of micro computing and the beginning of the digital age is often said to have changed society What Kurlansky argues is that technology does not change society, but it merely is created to fill a want or a need w...

  5. Bob says:

    I had very high hopes for Paper, but Kurlansky s book never fulfilled them The book could never make up its mind whether it was about the manufacturing of paper or what paper is used for Kurlansky fashions himself an expert on the hi...

  6. Linda says:

    I had read Mark Kurlansky s book on oysters The Big Oyster and learned than I had ever realized about oysters and enjoyed it even though I never eat oysters When I saw this book on paper I knew I would enjoy reading it as well because I do love paper love to use it, love to buy it and often talk myself out of acquiring even of it This book did not disappoint me although all of his books require you to make an investment of time because they are quite detailed Kurlansky s premise is that the invention and use of paper was technology and as with all technology, people are often torn between embracing what is new and bemoaning the way things used to be which meant oral traditions and the use of human memory over the aid of reading and writing What he emphasizes throughout the book however is that technology does not drive change but human behavior drives the need for technologies to be invented When people needed help in business dealings the invention of numbers and writing and means to record that writing drove the invention of the alphabet and numbers both Roman and the useful India Arabic numerals The author also emphasizes that new technologies do not obliterate older technologies They often continue to exist side by side even if the newer one often seems to become popular As a librarian who is often asked if there will still be books now that e books are becoming used and , I often say that hardback books were still around after ...

  7. Holly Woodward says:

    This book was a great read, subtly conveying the ways paper is interwoven with history, both material and intellectual In one particularly interesting section, Kurlansky traces the ways the American Revolution was bound up with the history of printin...

  8. Marks54 says:

    There is a genre of books that some have called commodity histories These are focused histories of specific products Cotton or products the screwdriver I generally find these books fascinating and the trivia one gets from them is than enough to show off to colleagues or stop conversations at parties in their tracks It is sort of a guilty pleasure II have a book on the history of the elevator waiting in my queue.Mark Kurlansky is a free ranging journalist who is a master of the commodity biography I first read his book on salt the rock you can eat and followed up with Cod, which I use as a justification to sampling fish and chips entrees whenever we go to England His current book is a history of paper, and it does not disappoint I would be very surprised if most readers failed to learn something from this book, which covers thousands of years of paper history all over the world My favorite takeaway was learning about the role of rages in paper manufacture and why ragpickers were so commented upon in the 19th century Kurlansky appears to have done his homework by showing the general processes by which paper has been made, ...

  9. Margaret Sankey says:

    Like Kurlansky s other books on a commodity, this ends up being a full spectrum tour of human communications, religion, art and commerce, centered around the material culture of paper There is nothing new here, but with a global sweep, Kurlansky explains how, de...

  10. Debbie says:

    This book was received as part of the Goodreads Firstreads giveaway.I have long been intrigued by Mark Kurlansky s approach to history tracing a single item s impact on the history of the world Paper was my first chance to read one of his works and I was very impressed Kurlansky starts with cave painting and traces paper s and the world s history all the way through to the present day Throughout the book he shows how the creation of paper and corresponding developments such as paper mills, books and printing presses were the result of the needs of the people not preceded by these technological innovations The book provides not only a fascinating look at paper but the history and historical events surroun...

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