Library: An Unquiet History
"Splendidly articulate, informative and provoking....A book to be savored and gone back to."—Baltimore SunOn the survival and destruction of knowledge, from Alexandria to the Internet. Through the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved but also shaped, inspired, and obliterated... show more
"Splendidly articulate, informative and provoking....A book to be savored and gone back to."—Baltimore SunOn the survival and destruction of knowledge, from Alexandria to the Internet. Through the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved but also shaped, inspired, and obliterated knowledge. Matthew Battles, a rare books librarian and a gifted narrator, takes us on a spirited foray from Boston to Baghdad, from classical scriptoria to medieval monasteries, from the Vatican to the British Library, from socialist reading rooms and rural home libraries to the Information Age. He explores how libraries are built and how they are destroyed, from the decay of the great Alexandrian library to scroll burnings in ancient China to the destruction of Aztec books by the Spanish—and in our own time, the burning of libraries in Europe and Bosnia. Encyclopedic in its breadth and novelistic in its telling, this volume will occupy a treasured place on the bookshelf next to Baker's Double Fold, Basbanes's A Gentle Madness, Manguel's A History of Reading, and Winchester's The Professor and the Madman.
Publish date: June 17th 2004
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
, Read For School
, Books About Books
, Library Science
An interesting short history of the idea of the library. Quite superficial really but a fun read. Special emphasis on destuction of books and libraries.
I think Battles would be the guy in the office party (probably a spouse) who corners everyone who stands still so he can lecture at them. He's from the local university, and he sincerely thinks you're interested. You wish you were because the topic is interesting enough and you have plenty of things...
A cultural history of the world. Well done. Held my interest.
I don't know much about the history of libraries, but this felt like a good overview. The focus is on Western libraries, but I also learned about Eastern libraries. I had no idea that the China had the precursor to the printing press long before Gutenberg. The book starts with ancient libraries...