James Gleick, the author of the best sellers Chaos and Genius, now brings us a work just as astonishing and masterly: a revelatory chronicle and meditation that shows how information has become the modern era’s defining quality—the blood, the fuel, the vital principle of our world.
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.
About James GleickSee more books from this Author
Gleick loves the layered detail, which might cause some to sigh, “TMI.” But for completist cybergeeks and infojunkies, the book delivers a solid summary of a dense, complex subject.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from Kirkus
Some of the concepts are challenging, but as in previous books like “Chaos”...Gleick provides lucid expositions for readers who are up to following the science and suggestive analogies for those who are just reading for the plot.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from NY Times
“The Information” is so ambitious, illuminating and sexily theoretical that it will amount to aspirational reading for many of those who have the mettle to tackle it. Don’t make the mistake of reading it quickly.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from NY Times
Gleick sets himself a monumental task – to tell the story of information throughout human history – and delivers.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from Guardian
...Gleick shows how Shannon's information theory not only led to computers and cyberspace, but also transformed biology into an information science concerned with messages, instructions and codes, where the gene is the information.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from Guardian
To grasp what information truly means – to explain why it is shaping up as a unifying principle of science – Gleick has to embrace linguistics, logic...There are few writers who could accomplish this with such panache and authority.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from Guardian
As he traces the evolution of intertwined ideas, he provides vivid portraits of Shannon and other pioneers of our Information Age, including Charles Babbage...and Alan Turing, whose machines helped the Allies crack German codes during World War II.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from WSJ online
Information theory is well-trodden territory in communication studies...Gleick winnows it down into a thick executive summary that's accessible to a general audience, while remaining of interest to experts in the fieldRead Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from Globe and Mail
The story of the telegraph is central to "The Information," which is a wide-ranging, deeply researched and delightfully engaging history ...of how we have come to occupy a world defined in bits and bytes.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a... | See more reviews from LA Times
It’s a long, complicated, and important story, beginning with tribal drummers and ending with quantum physics, and in Gleick’s hands it’s also a mesmerizing one.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a...
The Information isn't just a natural history of a powerful idea; it embodies and transmits that idea...It is a book that vibrates with excitement, and it transmits that excited vibration with very little signal loss. It is a wonder.Read Full Review of The Information: A History, a...
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