"Jeff Jarvis is the ideal guide for this fast-paced history of communication. Shrewd, witty and always generous to his fellow authors, this book is crammed with pointed observation and profound reflection on the present and future of information culture. As print transitions to the digital age, Jarvis explores the potentialities and dangers of unbridled access to information as a realist who sees a path to sanity as our media turbulence finds a new normal." - Andrew Pettegree, author of The Library A Fragile History
The Gutenberg Parenthesis traces the epoch of print from its fateful beginnings to our digital present - and draws out lessons for the age to come.
The age of print is a grand exception in history. For five centuries it fostered what some call print culture - a worldview shaped by the completeness, permanence, and authority of the printed word. As a technology, print at its birth was as disruptive as the digital migration of today. Now, as the internet ushers us past print culture, journalist Jeff Jarvis offers important lessons from the era we leave behind.
To understand our transition out of the Gutenberg Age, Jarvis first examines the transition into it. Tracking Western industrialized print to its origins, he explores its invention, spread, and evolution, as well as the bureaucracy and censorship that followed.
He also reveals how print gave rise to the idea of the mass - mass media, mass market, mass culture, mass politics, and so on - that came to dominate the public sphere. What can we glean from the captivating, profound, and challenging history of our devotion to print?
Could it be that we are returning to a time before mass media, to a society built on conversation, and that we are relearning how to hold that conversation with ourselves?
Brimming with broader implications for today's debates over communication, authorship, and ownership, Jarvis' exploration of print on a grand scale is also a complex, compelling history of technology and power.
The Gutenberg Parenthesis The Age of Print and Its Lessons for the Age of the Internet
Hardback (27 Jul 2023)
Includes delivery to the United States
10+ copies available online - Usually dispatched within 7 days