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Library: An Unquiet History - Matthew Battles
Library: An Unquiet History
by: (author)
3.79 35
"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.
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Format: paperback
ISBN: 9780393325645 (0393325644)
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Pages no: 256
Edition language: English
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Community Reviews
Wyvernfriend Reads
Wyvernfriend Reads rated it
3.0 Library: An Unquiet History
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.
Mining the Depths
Mining the Depths rated it
2.0
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...
Peregrinations
Peregrinations rated it
4.0 Library: An Unquiet History
A cultural history of the world. Well done. Held my interest.
Intensely Focused
Intensely Focused rated it
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...
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