The Paper Trail: An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention

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9780141039428: The Paper Trail: An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention

The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan, and follows it westward along the Silk Road, where it eventually became the surface of the Quran. Once paper reached Europe, it became indispensable to the scholars who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. As Monro uncovers, paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and brought disciplines from science to music into a new age.

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Review:

Page-turningly readable... Exceedingly well informed... The chronological narrative, beginning with prehistoric charcoal scribbling on cave walls and ending with e-paper, is laden with research carried admirably lightly... A terrific read (John Sutherland Literary Review)

Monro's expertise as a European historian and scholar of Chinese gives this book a uniquely broad perspective, which would mean less if he were not also a picturesque writer with an eye for a good story and an ear for a readable style (Iain Finlayson The Times)

Detailed, scholarly, yet beautifully written, Monro's history is a sweeping account of the astonishing impact of paper on human culture (Tristram Hunt)

Fascinating... Insights abound... Alexander Monro is a perceptive and insightful guide ( Quadrapheme)

Paper may be derided as a waste of trees, and as dead as the dodo in our digitized world. But, as Alexander Monro reminds us in this erudite history, it has been the base layer of world culture... From Islamic scientific tracts to Copernicus's 1543 De Revolutionibus, paper, as Monro eloquently shows, has filled the supremely important role of placing "truth in the reader's hands" ( Nature)

Monro...has left no archival material unexamined, no relevant histories unread, no avenue unexplored, no lead allowed to go cold, in short, no stone unturned... his brilliantly articulated chapter on the Prophet, the Revelations and the Koran is worth a re-read. Equally fine and, by the way quite prescient, is his writing on the proscribing and licensing of all written material in the pre-revolutionary France of the 1680's and, as was expected, the world's first taste of organized book piracy... The Paper Trail is a book that had to be written, and must be read. ( Telegraph India)

Elegantly presented ( Economist)

[Monro] highlights the role of the thing that is so easily overlooked because of its very ubiquity... This intricate history also emphasises the role of writing...while also holding out hope for the future of the book in the digital age ( Sydney Morning Herald)

Formidably learned...Monro is a Sinophile...who follows the trail westwards, emphasising paper's place in the circulation of the Qur'an and in the "great crescendo of learning" under the Abbasids...before print finally allowed paper to achieve its destiny (Jason Scott-Warren Times Literary Supplement)

About the Author:

Alexander Monro studied Chinese at the University of Cambridge and in Beijing before working for The Times in London and for Reuters in Shanghai. He has contributed chapters to The Dragon Throne (a history of China's dynasties) and The Seventy Great Journeys in History, and edited two travel poetry anthologies, including China: City and Exile. In 2011, he won the Royal Society of Literature's Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction for The Paper Trail, his first book. He lives with his wife in the Cotswolds, and writes on contemporary China.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention s voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan, and follows it westward along the Silk Road, where it eventually became the surface of the Quran. Once paper reached Europe, it became indispensable to the scholars who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. As Monro uncovers, paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and brought disciplines from science to music into a new age. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141039428

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention s voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan, and follows it westward along the Silk Road, where it eventually became the surface of the Quran. Once paper reached Europe, it became indispensable to the scholars who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. As Monro uncovers, paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and brought disciplines from science to music into a new age. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141039428

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Book Description 2015. Book Condition: New. 128mm x 195mm x 23mm. The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro trace.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 384 pages. 0.282. Bookseller Inventory # 9780141039428

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780141039428_rkm

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Paper Trail: An Unexpected History of a Revolutionary Invention, Alexander Monro, The Paper Trail tells the story of how a simple Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread at an unprecedented rate around the world. Alexander Monro traces this groundbreaking invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan, and follows it westward along the Silk Road, where it eventually became the surface of the Quran. Once paper reached Europe, it became indispensable to the scholars who manufactured the Renaissance and Reformation from their desks. As Monro uncovers, paper created a world in which free thinking could flourish, and brought disciplines from science to music into a new age. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141039428

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Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS. Book Condition: New. Presents a story of how a Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread across the world. In this book the author traces the invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan. It became indispensable to the scholars, when the paper reached Europe. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: HBG; HBTB; JFCD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 130 x 197 x 24. Weight in Grams: 284. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780141039428

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Book Description PENGUIN BOOKS, 2015. Book Condition: New. Presents a story of how a Chinese product has for two millennia allowed knowledge, ideas and religions to spread across the world. In this book the author traces the invention's voyage, beginning with the Buddhist translators responsible for its spread across China and Japan. It became indispensable to the scholars, when the paper reached Europe. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: HBG; HBTB; JFCD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 130 x 197 x 24. Weight in Grams: 284. . 2015. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780141039428

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