The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This collection of essays works back through Darnton’s insights into the history of books. This work inspired my current studies in “Book Practices”, and I do not believe you will regret reading this defense and projection for books in and out of the academe.

-- Cody

— From Cody M. Staff Picks


The era of the printed book is at a crossroad. E-readers are flooding the market, books are available to read on cell phones, and companies such as Google, Amazon, and Apple are competing to command near monopolistic positions as sellers and dispensers of digital information. Already, more books have been scanned and digitized than were housed in the great library in Alexandria. Is the printed book resilient enough to survive the digital revolution, or will it become obsolete? In this lasting collection of essays, Robert Darnton--an intellectual pioneer in the field of this history of the book--lends unique authority to the life, role, and legacy of the book in society.

About the Author

A former professor of European history at Princeton University, Robert Darnton is Carl H. Pforzheimer University Professor and director of the Harvard University Library. The founder of the Guttenberg-e program, he is the author of many books. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Praise For…

Chronicle of Higher Education, August 29, 2010
“A useful text with which to muse on this subject is Robert Darnton's The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future (PublicAffairs, 2009). In it, the onetime newspaper reporter, distinguished scholar of the Enlightenment and the history of the book, and director of Harvard's libraries, swings between explanations and concerns about Google Book Search, and how the situation with books today looks in the perspective of history. Many of his observations give pause.”

Product Details
ISBN: 9781586489021
ISBN-10: 158648902X
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Publication Date: April 10th, 2017
Pages: 219
Language: English