The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

Hardback

By (author) James Gleick

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  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Format: Hardback | 526 pages
  • Dimensions: 174mm x 238mm x 50mm | 962g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0375423729
  • ISBN 13: 9780375423727
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 57,580

Product description

James Gleick, the author of the best sellers "Chaos" and "Genius, " now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era's defining quality--the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world. The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanishes as soon as it is born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long-misunderstood talking drums of Africa, Gleick tells the story of information technologies that changed the very nature of human consciousness. He provides portraits of the key figures contributing to the inexorable development of our modern understanding of information: Charles Babbage, the idiosyncratic inventor of the first great mechanical computer; Ada Byron, the brilliant and doomed daughter of the poet, who became the first true programmer; pivotal figures like Samuel Morse and Alan Turing; and Claude Shannon, the creator of information theory itself. And then the information age arrives. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And we sometimes feel we are drowning, swept by a deluge of signs and signals, news and images, blogs and tweets. "The Information" is the story of how we got here and where we are heading.

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Author information

James Gleick is our leading chronicler of science and modern technology. His first book, "Chaos, " a National Book Award finalist, has been translated into twenty-five languages. His best-selling biographies, "Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman" and "Isaac Newton, " were short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize.

Review quote

"With his ability to synthesize mounds of details and to tell rich stories, Gleick ably leads us on a journey from one form of communicating information to another." -"Publishers Weekly, "Top 100 Books of 2011 "So ambitious, illuminating and sexily theoretical that it will amount to aspirational reading for many of those who have the mettle to tackle it..."The Information" is to the nature, history and significance of data what the beach is to sand." -"New York Times " "[A] tour de force...This is intellectual history of tremendous verve, insight, and significance. Unfailingly spirited, often poetic, Gleick recharges our astonishment over the complexity and resonance of the digital sphere and ponders our hunger for connectedness...Destined to be a science classic, best-seller Gleick's dynamic history of information will be one of the biggest nonfiction books of the year." -"Booklist," starred review "With his brilliant ability to synthesize mounds of details and to tell rich stories, Gleick leads us on a journey from one form of communication information to another...Gleick's exceptional history of culture concludes that information is indeed the blood, the fuel, and the vital principle on which our world runs." -"Publishers Weekly, "starred review "Rich and fascinating." -"Washington Post " "No author is better equipped for such a wide- ranging tour than Mr. Gleick. Some writers excel at crafting a historical narrative, others at elucidating esoteric theories, still others at humanizing scientists. Mr. Gleick is a master of all these skills." -"Wall Street Journal" "Gleick presses rousing tales from the history of human communication into the service of one Very Big Idea...he does what only the best science writers can: take a subject of which most of us are only peripherally aware and put it at the center of the universe." -"Time" "A wide-ranging, deeply researched and delightfully engaging history..." -"Los Ange