Information: A Short History

An essential guide to the ways information has shaped and been shaped by societies


Published (US):
Sep 10, 2024
Published (UK):
Nov 5, 2024
6.13 x 9.25 in.
9 b/w illus.
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Thanks to recent advances, we now enjoy seemingly unlimited access to information. How did information become so central to our everyday lives? This book traces the global emergence of information practices and technologies across pivotal epochs and regions, providing invaluable historical perspectives on the ways information has shaped and been shaped by societies. Featuring the core articles from the ultimate reference book Information: A Historical Companion, this short history will appeal to anyone seeking to understand our modern mania for an informed existence. The book:

  • Tells the story of information’s rise from the premodern era to today, exploring how diverse cultures have created, managed, and shared facts and knowledge
  • Takes readers from the medieval Islamic world to late imperial East Asia, and from early modern and modern Europe to contemporary North America
  • Covers a broad range of topics, such as networks, bureaucracy, publicity, propaganda, censorship, privacy, intellectual property, digitization, telecommunications, storage and search, and much more
  • Includes a new introduction, suggested further readings, and a glossary of key terms
  • Brings together an international team of experts, including Jeremy Adelman, Devin Fitzgerald, John-Paul Ghobrial, Lisa Gitelman, Randolph C. Head, Richard R. John, Elias Muhanna, Thomas S. Mullaney, Carla Nappi, Craig Robertson, Daniel Rosenberg, Will Slauter, and Heidi Tworek