Paper

Paper

Paging Through History

Large Print - 2016
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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 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 Máo zhu " xí yu" lu, Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-tung (Zedong), or the fact that Leonardo da Vinci left behind only 15 paintings but 4,000 works on paper. Now, on the cusp of "going paperless" -- and amid 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.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine : Thorndike Press, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning, 2016
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781410490070
1410490076
Branch Call Number: LP 676.09 K9659P 2016
Characteristics: large print
635 pages (large print) : illustrations ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: Paging through history

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PimaLib_NormS Nov 03, 2016

If you like knowing the history of mundane items, as I do, then “Paper: Paging Through History” by Mark Kurlansky, is for you. I’ve never thought much about paper. I had a vague knowledge of paper being made from trees, but had no idea about the process. I had no knowledge of the history of paper, at all. I never knew that, for centuries, paper was made from rags. The most interesting part of the book for me, was when Kurlansky explained, by using the history of paper, how new technology almost always does not cause change, technology is the response to a changing world. Civilizations were changing and a need arose to record things quickly and easily. Paper evolved to meet that need. With all the talk about our moving toward a “paperless society”, Kurlansky opines that paper will be around for a long time to come. Some facets of the paper business will eventually go away, but other uses for paper will come along. For example, paper in the form of newsprint is in decline, but paper for packaging is increasing, mainly due to online shopping. I’ve read several of Mark Kurlansky’s books, and his method is to research the heck out of his subject, then present what he has learned in a clear and informative style. “Paper: Paging Through History” is a good read.

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