Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View from Europe

Google and the Myth of Universal Knowledge: A View from Europe

Paperback

By (author) Jean-Noel Jeanneney, Translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan, Foreword by Ian Wilson

$9.19
List price $11.78
You save $2.59 21% off

Free delivery worldwide
Available
Dispatched in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?

Additional formats available

Format
Hardback $17.63
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Paperback | 108 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 211mm x 13mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 16 October 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 0226395782
  • ISBN 13: 9780226395784
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Sales rank: 591,403

Product description

The announcement that Google would digitize the holdings of several major libraries sent shock waves through the book industry and academe. Google presented this digital repository as a first step toward a long-dreamed-of universal library, but skeptics quickly raised concerns about the potential for copyright infringement and unanticipated effects on the business of research and publishing. Jean-Noel Jeanneney, former president of France's Bibliotheque Nationale, here takes aim at what he sees as a far more troubling aspect of Google's Library Project: its potential to misrepresent - and even damage - the world's cultural heritage. Jeanneney argues here that Google's unsystematic digitization of books from a few partner libraries and its reliance on works written mostly in English constitute acts of selection that can only extend the dominance of American culture abroad. As a leading librarian, Jeanneney remains enthusiastic about the archival potential of the Web. But he argues that the short-term thinking characterized by Google's digital repository must be countered by long-term planning on the part of cultural and governmental institutions worldwide - a serious effort to create a truly comprehensive library, one based on the politics of inclusion and multiculturalism.

Other books in this category

Showing items 1 to 11 of 11
Categories:

Author information

Jean-Noel Jeanneney was president of France's Bibliotheque Nationale from 2002 to 2007. Teresa Lavender Fagan has translated more than a dozen books for the University of Chicago Press.

Review quote

"The president of the French national library has made himself the frontman in what he sees as a struggle to save cultural diversity. In the postmodern world, the battleground is the Internet. Here, search engines determine what tomorrow's generations will click on, learn, and think." - Financial Times "Provides a crucial dissenting opinion.... The Google war chest has all but secured dominance over smaller library efforts, like the author's own project to digitize the French national collection. History judges societies by how they treat their most disadvantaged members. This book asks only that the Google economy be held to the same standard." - David Ng, Forbes "A take on world Googlization you're not likely to get from your broker.... [Jeanneney] brings his own high-wattage bulb to enlighten us. Be thankful we didn't ban French fries, French wine, and this very illuminating French book." - Carlin Romano, Philadelphia Inquirer"

Flap copy

The recent announcement that Google will digitize the holdings of several major libraries sent shock waves through the book industry and academe. Google presented this digital repository as a first step towards a long-dreamed-of universal library, but skeptics were quick to raise a number of concerns about the potential for copyright infringement and unanticipated effects on the business of research and publishing. Jean-Noel Jeanneney, president of France's Bibliotheque nationale, here takes aim at what he sees as a far more troubling aspect of Google's Library Project: its potential to misrepresent--and even damage--the world's cultural heritage. In this impassioned work, Jeanneney argues that Google's unsystematic digitization of books from a few partner libraries and its reliance on works written mostly in English constitute acts of selection that can only extend the dominance of American culture abroad. This danger is made evident by a Google book search the author discusses here--one run on Hugo, Cervantes, Dante, and Goethe that resulted in just "one" non-English edition, and a German translation of Hugo at that. An archive that can so easily slight the masters of European literature--and whose development is driven by commercial interests--cannot provide the foundation for a universal library. As a leading librarian, Jeanneney remains enthusiastic about the archival potential of the Web. But he argues that the short-term thinking characterized by Google's digital repository must be countered by long-term planning on the part of cultural and governmental institutions worldwide--a serious effort to create a truly comprehensive library, one based on the politics of inclusion and multiculturalism.