The Information

A History, a Theory, a Flood

By James Gleick
(Pantheon Books, Hardcover, 9780375423727, 526pp.)

Publication Date: March 1, 2011

List Price: $35.00*
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Description

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 the Author
James Gleick's three books, Chaos, Genuis, and Faster, have been translated into nearly thirty languages. Gleick, a former reporter and editor of the New York Times, lives in New York.>


NPR
Tuesday, Mar 8, 2011

At the core of everything lies a binary on-off switch, says James Gleick, the author of a new book called The Information. Small bits of information, Gleick says, make up our DNA, our brains and our ideas. More at NPR.org

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