Masters of the Word: How Media Shaped History

3.89 avg rating
( 143 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781782390008: Masters of the Word: How Media Shaped History

William J. Bernstein’s A Splendid Exchange: How Trade Shaped the World, an Economist and Financial Times Best Book of the Year, placed him firmly among the top flight of historians like Jared Diamond and Bill Bryson, capable of distilling major trends and reams of information into insightful, globe-spanning popular narrative.

Bernstein explains how new communication technologies and in particular our access to them, impacted human society. Writing was born thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. Spreading to Sumer, and then Egypt, this revolutionary tool allowed rulers to extend their control far and wide, giving rise to the world’s first empires. When Phoenician traders took their alphabet to Greece, literacy’s first boom led to the birth of drama and democracy. In Rome, it helped spell the downfall of the Republic. Later, medieval scriptoria and vernacular bibles gave rise to religious dissent, and with the combination of cheaper paper and Gutenberg’s printing press, the fuse of Reformation was lit.

The Industrial Revolution brought the telegraph and the steam driven printing press, allowing information to move faster than ever before and to reach an even larger audience. But along with radio and television, these new technologies were more easily exploited by the powerful, as seen in Germany, the Soviet Union, even Rwanda, where radio incited genocide. With the rise of carbon duplicates (Russian samizdat), photocopying (the Pentagon Papers), the internet, social media and cell phones (the recent Arab Spring) more people have access to communications, making the world more connected than ever before.

In Masters of the Word, Bernstein masterfully guides the reader through the vast history of communications, illustrating each step with colorful stories and anecdotes. This is a captivating, enlightening book, one that will change the way you look at technology, history, and power.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Willliam J. Berstein is a financial theorist and historian whose books include The Four Pillars of Investing and A Splendid Exchange. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Review:

[Bernstein] enables us to see what remains the same, even as much has changed: Henry VIII had William Tyndale burned at the stake for making the Bible available in English; today, dictators and their henchmen beat up and murder protesters by the hundreds, likewise (simply put) to maintain control of information.” Library Journal, Editors’ Picks”

In Masters of the Word, a master storyteller, synthesizer, and historian shows us how the power of the word has toppled tyrants. I love reading what Bernstein writes.” Ed Tower, Professor of Economics, Duke University

Masters of the Word takes you on a fascinating trip, from the invention of writing to the creation of the world-wide Web. Bernstein masterfully describes not just the inventions and the inventors that created modern media, but the forces underlying their impact. Riveting and thoroughly researched, it brims with interesting ideas and astonishing connections.” Phil Lapsley, author of Exploding the Phone: The Untold Story of the Teenagers and Outlaws Who Hacked Ma Bell

Fascinating an engaging mix of theory, fact and enlightenment from across the millennia that wears its rich scholarship lightly.” Peter Preston, The Guardian (UK)

[Bernstein’s] narrative is succinct and extremely well sourced. . . . [He] reminds us of a number of technologies whose changed roles are less widely chronicled in conventional histories of the media.”—Irish Times

This sweeping, although selective, historical narrative by award-winning financial historian Bernstein elucidates in highly readable fashion the role of media’ in which he includes advances from ancient alphabets to movable type to twenty-first-century technology in shaping civilization and determining democratic versus despotic tendencies. Bernstein’s thesis that power accrues to the literate’ should not be taken simplistically; his larger arguments are learned and elegantly made. His occasional invocation of modern phenomena in a nonmodern context lend charm and clarity to what might have otherwise been dauntingly erudite. Instead, Bernstein offers an accessible, quite enjoyable, and highly informative read that will hold surprises even for those familiar with some of the history he covers.” Mark Levine, Booklist

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

William L. Bernstein
Published by ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Masters of the Word, Bernstein chronicles the development of the technology of human communication, or media, starting with the birth of writing thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. In Sumer, and then Egypt, this revolutionary tool allowed rulers to extend their control far and wide, giving rise to the world s first empires. When Phoenician traders took their alphabet to Greece, literacy s first boom led to the birth of drama and democracy. In Rome, it helped spell the downfall of Empire. As Bernstein illustrates, new communication technologies - from the clay tablet to the radio - have all had a profound effect on human society. But it s not just the technologies themselves that have changed the world, it s access to them. Medieval scriptoria and vernacular bibles gave rise to religious dissent, but it was only when the combination of cheaper paper and Gutenberg s printing press drove down the cost of books by some 97 that the dynamite of Reformation was lit. The Industrial Revolution brought the telegraph and the steam driven printing press, allowing information to move faster than ever before and to reach an even larger audience. But along with radio and television, these new technologies were more easily exploited by the powerful, as seen in Germany, the Soviet Union, and even Rwanda, where radio incited genocide. With the rise of carbon duplicates (Russian samizdat), photocopying (the Pentagon Papers), and the internet and mobile phones (the Arab Spring), access has again spread and the world is both more connected, and more free, than ever before. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781782390008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
17.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

William L. Bernstein
Published by Atlantic Books
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Hardcover Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
THE SAINT BOOKSTORE
(Southport, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Atlantic Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Bookseller Inventory # B9781782390008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
16.20
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6.94
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

William L. Bernstein
Published by Atlantic Books (2013)
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Books2Anywhere
(Fairford, GLOS, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Atlantic Books, 2013. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # F6-9781782390008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
14.43
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 9
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

William L. Bernstein
Published by ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
The Book Depository US
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Main. Language: English . Brand New Book. In Masters of the Word, Bernstein chronicles the development of the technology of human communication, or media, starting with the birth of writing thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. In Sumer, and then Egypt, this revolutionary tool allowed rulers to extend their control far and wide, giving rise to the world s first empires. When Phoenician traders took their alphabet to Greece, literacy s first boom led to the birth of drama and democracy. In Rome, it helped spell the downfall of Empire. As Bernstein illustrates, new communication technologies - from the clay tablet to the radio - have all had a profound effect on human society. But it s not just the technologies themselves that have changed the world, it s access to them. Medieval scriptoria and vernacular bibles gave rise to religious dissent, but it was only when the combination of cheaper paper and Gutenberg s printing press drove down the cost of books by some 97 that the dynamite of Reformation was lit. The Industrial Revolution brought the telegraph and the steam driven printing press, allowing information to move faster than ever before and to reach an even larger audience. But along with radio and television, these new technologies were more easily exploited by the powerful, as seen in Germany, the Soviet Union, and even Rwanda, where radio incited genocide. With the rise of carbon duplicates (Russian samizdat), photocopying (the Pentagon Papers), and the internet and mobile phones (the Arab Spring), access has again spread and the world is both more connected, and more free, than ever before. Bookseller Inventory # AA99781782390008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
24.37
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

William J. Bernstein
Published by Atlantic Books 2013 (2013)
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Robin Summers
(Aldeburgh, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Atlantic Books 2013, 2013. Book Condition: New. New hardback. Fine and unread. Bookseller Inventory # A131959

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
12.26
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 12.95
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Bernstein, William J.
Published by Atlantic Books (2013)
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Rating
[?]

Book Description Atlantic Books, 2013. Book Condition: New. 2013. Hardcover. From the author of A Splendid Exchange comes a remarkable history of media - from the alphabet to the internet - that examines how it has shaped human society over millennia. Num Pages: 432 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: HBTB; JFD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 239 x 162 x 38. Weight in Grams: 852. . . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9781782390008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
26.23
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From Ireland to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Bernstein, William J.
Published by Atlantic Books
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Kennys Bookstore
(Olney, MD, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Atlantic Books. Book Condition: New. 2013. Hardcover. From the author of A Splendid Exchange comes a remarkable history of media - from the alphabet to the internet - that examines how it has shaped human society over millennia. Num Pages: 432 pages, Illustrations. BIC Classification: HBTB; JFD. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 239 x 162 x 38. Weight in Grams: 852. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9781782390008

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
27.32
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Bernstein William
Published by Atlantic Books, Limited
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
Majestic Books
(London, ,, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Atlantic Books, Limited. Book Condition: New. pp. 432. Bookseller Inventory # 95441312

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
23.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 5.50
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

BERNSTEIN,WILLI
Published by Atlantic Books (2013)
ISBN 10: 1782390006 ISBN 13: 9781782390008
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Revaluation Books
(Exeter, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Atlantic Books, 2013. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. 432 pages. 9.49x6.50x1.50 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __1782390006

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
27.85
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 6
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds