About this item
A study of books through history is a study of human history.
In The History of the Book in 100 Books, the author explores 100 books that have played a critical role in the creation and expansion of books and all that they bring -- literacy, numeracy, expansion of knowledge, religion, political theory, oppression, liberation, and much more. The book is ordered chronologically and divided thematically. Each of the 100 sections focuses on one book that represents a particular development in the evolution of books and in turn, world history and society. Abundant photographs inform and embellish.
Here are some of the themes discussed:
- In the Beginning -- first human scratches on cave walls, cuneiform tablets, papyrus books, the oldest table of prime numbers
- Eastern Approaches -- 1,000 years before Europe, the Far East "publishes" books using paper and other writing surfaces in multiple -- in one case 11,000 -- volumes
- The Great Classics -- the emergence of Aesop's Fables over 2,000 years ago; the first cookbook, by Apicius, reveals the excesses of the Roman empire
- Medieval Worlds and the Book -- the illuminated Book of Kells survives Viking raids; Ptolemy puts the world on a map; the miraculous beauty of the Prayer Books and Books of Hours
- Light From the East -- the oldest printed book of all: Diamond Sutra; the first novel, Tale of Genji (written by a woman no less); the first book of astronomy and the first book of anatomy
- Wheels of Change -- a period of firsts: Gutenberg invents moveable type; the first blockbuster; the first joke book; the first printing in Africa; printing in Arabic; first printed music
- Print and Steam -- technology puts photography in books; newspapers publish fiction in installments; enter Baedecker, the archetypical travel guide; celebrity cooking hits the page
- The Book in the Turbulent 20th Century -- public libraries spark an information explosion; the advent of mechanized copying; revolutionary book design; no topic is off limits; the publishing industry
- Digitization and the Future of the Book -- e-book publishing intersects with a return to handcrafted books; manga, redefining the book.
This book takes a singular approach that will appeal to astute readers. It will have a wide and diverse readership.