Gutenberg: How One Man Remade the World with Words

Overview

If you think that the Information Age began with the Internet, think again. With his innovative movable type and printing press, Johann Gutenberg ignited an unprecedented explosion of new information in 1450. Within fifty years, the number of books available in Europe grew from thousands to millions, with breathtaking consequences. Science, literature, and the study of history blossomed; Christian unity collapsed; kings formed nation-states; and explorers revealed new worlds. ...
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Overview

If you think that the Information Age began with the Internet, think again. With his innovative movable type and printing press, Johann Gutenberg ignited an unprecedented explosion of new information in 1450. Within fifty years, the number of books available in Europe grew from thousands to millions, with breathtaking consequences. Science, literature, and the study of history blossomed; Christian unity collapsed; kings formed nation-states; and explorers revealed new worlds. Gutenberg, simply put, helped found the modern age.

Gutenberg: How One Man Remade the World with Words reveals this remarkable inventor as a complex and dynamic figure whose brilliance and determination were matched only by his ambition and daring. It traces the sources of his inspiration and explores the intrigues and legal battles that punctuated his decades-long, covert research and development program. It also explores Gutenberg's constant need for capital, which drove him at times to take desperate measures, such as having a city official thrown in debtors' prison until he paid Gutenberg the money he owed him.

This compelling biography chronicles Gutenberg's ceaseless efforts to overcome technological challenges, hire artisans and train them in a craft that he was inventing as he went along, and keep the entire venture secret until he opened for business. It also features a detailed exploration of the technical, artistic, theological, and financial issues surrounding the publication of the Gutenberg Bible.

In the tradition of Simon Winchester's The Professor and the Madman, Gutenberg offers immensely rewarding reading to anyone interested in the history of science and literature and in the unending human struggle to accomplish great deeds against great odds. It is the only complete and engaging account available of the man behind what was, quite simply, one of the most revolutionary inventions in history.

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Editorial Reviews

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Johann Gutenberg and his inventions of movable type and the printing press changed the world forever. How did he do it? Historian John Man explores the decades-long struggle of one man to to create a "one true Bible" and thus unite Christendom -- while making money in the process -- led to changes that are felt to this very day.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781567317435
  • Publisher: MJF Books
  • Publication date: 7/11/2005
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 5.94 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Third Revolution.
1. A Golden City, Tarnished.
2. The Strasbourg Adventure.
3. A Hercules Labouring for Unity.
4. Something in the Air.
5. The Secret Revealed.
6. In Search of a Bestseller.
7. The Bible.
8. Colophon.
9. Pressing to the Limits.
10. Christendom Divided, the World United.
Appendix: The 42-Line Bible: A Possible Balance Sheet.
Bibliography.
Index.
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