Writing on the Wall

Writing on the Wall : Social Media - The First 2,000 Years

3.87 (687 ratings by Goodreads)
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Today we are endlessly connected: constantly tweeting, texting or e-mailing. This may seem unprecedented, yet it is not. Throughout history, information has been spread through social networks, with far-reaching social and political effects. Writing on the Wall reveals how an elaborate network of letter exchanges forewarned of power shifts in Cicero's Rome, while the torrent of tracts circulating in sixteenth-century Germany triggered the Reformation. Standage traces the story of the rise, fall and rebirth of social media over the past 2,000 years offering an illuminating perspective on the history of media, and revealing that social networks do not merely connect us today - they also link us to the past.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 152 x 228 x 24mm | 459.99g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • illustrations, facsimiles
  • 1408842068
  • 9781408842065
  • 436,200

About Tom Standage

Tom Standage is digital editor at the Economist and editor-in-chief of its website, Economist.com. He is the author of six history books, including An Edible History of Humanity, the New York Times bestseller A History of the World in Six Glasses and The Victorian Internet. His writing has also appeared in the Daily Telegraph, the New York Times and Wired. He lives in London. tomstandage.com @tomstandage facebook.com/writingonthewallbook instagram.com/tomstandage flickr.com/photos/tomstandageshow more

Review quote

It broadens our modern and narrow view of social media to include all forms of social communication . Thorough . Compelling . Writing on the Wall is a wonderful read . Standage makes a strong case for social media as the driving force for change, whether for good or bad criticalmargins.com The most illuminating of Britain's technology writers ... He understands that there are few eternal patterns to human behaviour - no ahistorical understanding to be had about blinks, outliers, or tipping points ... Standage has identified the most important triggers that initiated some of those jumps in the past. He's the go-to man to identify the triggers for what comes next Literary Review Tom Standage is a very ingenious, engaging and wide-ranging non-fiction writer ... much to admire Scotsman Short and sparky history of information . Standage provides a useful reminder that, however much our material environment changes, our behaviour tends to remain the same Guardian Today's tweeting and texting may seem unprecedented, yet they are not. Throughout history, information has been spread via social networks, with far-reaching effects Observer I can't wait to get to grips with Tom Standage's The Writing on the Wall, which argues that we should look to the past to understand how social media is disrupting the world today - selfies and all. Standage points out that online sharing resembles a return to older patterns of knowledge transmission, familiar to those like Cicero whose life in ancient Rome relied on word mouth and social webs and social webs of acquaintanceship to spread ideas, long before the days of mass media City A.M. Standage argues that there's nothing distinctively new about Facebook. His thesis is that social media dates to at least the Roman era, when Cicero's letters were copied for distribution' The Weekshow more

Rating details

687 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 27% (187)
4 41% (280)
3 25% (172)
2 6% (41)
1 1% (7)
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