Social History of the Media: From Gutenberg to the Internet / Edition 3

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Written by two leading social and cultural historians, the first editions of A Social History of the Media became classic textbooks, providing a masterful overview of communication media and of the social and cultural contexts within which they emerged and evolved over time.

This third edition has been thoroughly revised to bring the text up to date with the very latest developments in the field. Increased space is given to the exciting media developments of the early twenty-first century, including in particular the rise of social media and the impact of digitalization. Additionally, new and important research is incorporated into the classic material exploring the continuing importance of oral and manuscript communication, the rise of print and the relationship between physical transportation and social communication.

Avoiding technological determinism and rejecting assumptions of straightforward evolutionary progress, this book brings out the rich and varied histories of communication media. In an age of fast-paced media developments, a thorough understanding of media history is more important than ever, and this text will continue to be the first choice for students and scholars across the world.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This joint work, a master-piece of compression in its first edition, lives up to the claims of its title in this, its second … This book could add great strength to media studies teaching."

Times Higher Education Supplement

"Packed with lovely nuggets."

The Guardian

"Full of illuminating details and quotations … A Social History of the Media is an ideal textbook for students and a lesson to professional historians that they need to take the media seriously as a subject in its own right."

International Review of Social History

"This book is, without doubt, the best history of the media we have. Covering in its massive sweep every significant wave of change from the print revolution to the Internet, it provides an authoritative account of modern forms of communication and should be read by anyone interested in the development of our mediated world."

Michael Pickering, Loughborough University

"Asa Briggs and Peter Burke have written a fascinating and far-reaching history of the media. Beginning with the print revolution and ending with the maturation of the Information Society, they not only tell the political, social and technological histories of each medium, but also link them in such a way as to help us see overarching patterns and continuities. The end result is an engaging and intelligent investigation of five centuries of media and communications."

Susan Murray, New York University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745644950
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 1/7/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 817,982
  • Product dimensions: 6.80 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Asa Briggs is formerly Provost of Worcester College, Oxford and Chancellor of the Open University.

Peter Burke is Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge.

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vi

Preface viii

1 Introduction 1

2 Printing in its Contexts 13

3 The Media and the Public Sphere in Early Modern Europe 61

4 Technologies and Revolutions 91

5 New Processes and Patterns 121

6 Information, Education, Entertainment 179

7 Media Convergences 237

8 In and Out of Cyberspace 275

Chronology 303

Further Reading 315

Index 331

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