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"Guglielmo Cavallo and Roger Chartier have assembled a remarkable team of international scholars to describe the history of reading in the West from classical times to the present day. Who reads, how they read to themselves and others, what they read, where they read, and what difference reading makes - these are the questions asked and answered, using the best techniques of social and cultural history and literary theory. An immense body of scholarship has been distilled into accessible and beautifully translated essays. To read is to travel, Chartier and Cavallo tell us in their wide-ranging Introduction. Their volume makes a fascinating voyage." Professor Natalie Zemon Davis, Department of History, Princeton University
"The genius of the book is in the analysis of the relationship between reading and society. The act of reading illustrates the cultural mindset and this book is a subtle but sure "re-reading" of history which is a revelation of minds past. It is about far more than reading; it is about spiritual authority and sex, it is about social control, secrets and rebellion ... it is a book-lover's delight." The Guardian
"Ranging from Ancient Greece to the Internet, edited by two leading scholars in this rapidly expanding field and written by a group of specialists in a lucid and accessible style, A History of Reading in the West will be quite indispensable for students and scholars alike." Peter Burke, Professor of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge
"… a landmark achievement." San Francisco Chronicle
"There is no way to encapsulate here the richness of these explorations." Los Angeles Times Book Review
"Mandatory reading for all scholars and their students in the history of the book." Libraries and Culture
"[The book] is certainly the best history of reading presently available and will provide book people with a rich and useful perspective on those pratices that we all endeavor to serve." Logos
Introduction: Guglielmo Cavallo and Roger Chartier.
1. Archaic and Classical Greece: The Invention of Silent Reading: Jesper Svenbro.
2. Between Volumen and Codex: Reading in the Roman World: Guglielmo Cavallo.
3. Reading, Copying and Interpreting a Text in the Early Middle Ages: M. B. Parkes.
4. The Scholastic Model of Reading: Jacqueline Hamesse.
5. Reading in the Later Middle Ages: Paul Saenger.
6. Reading in the Jewish Communities of Western Europe In the Middle Ages: Robert Bonfil.
7. The Humanist as Reader: Anthony Grafton.
8. Protestant Reformations and Reading: Jean-François Gilmont.
9. Reading and the Counter-Reformation: Dominique Julia.
10. Reading Matter and 'Popular' Reading: From the Renaissance to the Seventeenth Century: Roger Chartier.
11. Was there a Reading Revolution at the End of the Eighteenth Century? Reinhard Wittman.
12. New Readers in the Nineteenth Century: Women, Children, Workers: Martyn Lyons.
13. Reading to Read: A Future for Reading: Armando Petrucci.