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The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by best-selling author James Gleick, “one of the greatest science writers of all time” (Cory Doctorow)
“A tour de force . . . 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
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.
“No author is better equipped for such a wide-ranging tour than Mr. Gleick,” hails the Wall Street Journal. “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.” Read Gleick’s interview with Wired magazine, and look out for his tour stops in your city.