The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making

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University of Chicago Press, May 15, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 776 pages
2 Reviews
In The Nature of the Book, a tour de force of cultural history, Adrian Johns constructs an entirely original and vivid picture of print culture and its many arenas—commercial, intellectual, political, and individual.

"A compelling exposition of how authors, printers, booksellers and readers competed for power over the printed page. . . . The richness of Mr. Johns's book lies in the splendid detail he has collected to describe the world of books in the first two centuries after the printing press arrived in England."—Alberto Manguel, Washington Times

"[A] mammoth and stimulating account of the place of print in the history of knowledge. . . . Johns has written a tremendously learned primer."—D. Graham Burnett, New Republic

"A detailed, engrossing, and genuinely eye-opening account of the formative stages of the print culture. . . . This is scholarship at its best."—Merle Rubin, Christian Science Monitor

"The most lucid and persuasive account of the new kind of knowledge produced by print. . . . A work to rank alongside McLuhan."—John Sutherland, The Independent

"Entertainingly written. . . . The most comprehensive account available . . . well documented and engaging."—Ian Maclean, Times Literary Supplement

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THE NATURE OF THE BOOK: Print and Knowledge in the Making

User Review  - Kirkus

A scholarly investigation of printing's early cultural history in England. In 1979 Elizabeth Eisenstein published a massively influential book entitled The Printing Press as an Agent of Change. Books ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - rivkat - LibraryThing

We think of books as distilled artifacts of knowledge, immutable, capable of speaking across time and space, the same in the US and in France. But that wasn’t always true—books did differ, printing ... Read full review


The Book of Nature and the Nature of the Book
The Culture and Credibility of the Printed Book in Early Modern London
The Politics of Print and the Practices of Propriety
Republicanism Natural Knowledge and the Politics of Printing
The Cultural Construction of the Printing Revolution
Print and the Passions
Natural Philosophy in the Restoration
John Flamsteed Isaac Newton and the Historia Coelestis Britannica
9 Conclusion

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