.
book book
Home awards catalogs newsletter calendar resources exam about
.



Search the Site
.


Enter keywords, ISBN, author, or book title

 
.
Search the Site

Art
Art
College Planning
Education and Teaching
Language and Literature
Foriegn Language Instruction
Performing Arts
Reference
Science and Mathematics
Social Studies
Test Prep
Writer's Workshop

Search the Site
.


Sign-up for the High School Newsletter:
   

.
Search the Site

.

online catalog --
--
title info
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
order this title
ordering info for teachers
--
Email this Page
Print this Page
Search Again
--
The Information
A History, a Theory, a Flood
Written by James Gleick

The Information
Enlarge View
.

Category: Science - History; Technology - History; Computers - Information Theory
Imprint: Pantheon
Format: Hardcover
Pub Date: March 2011
Price: $35.00
Can. Price: $41.00
ISBN: 978-0-375-42372-7 (0-375-42372-9)
Pages: 544
Also available as an unabridged audio CD, unabridged audiobook download, eBook and a trade paperback.



 
The story of information begins in a time profoundly unlike our own, when every thought and utterance vanished as soon as it was born. From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long misunderstood “talk­ing drums” of Africa, James 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 po­et’s brilliant and doomed daughter, 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 comes upon us. Citizens of this world become experts willy-nilly: aficionados of bits and bytes. And they sometimes feel they 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. It will transform readers’ view of its subject.

“So ambitious, illuminating and sexily theoretical that it will amount to aspirational reading for many of those who have the mettle to tackle it. . . . The Information is to the nature, history and significance of data what the beach is to sand.” —New York Times

“[A] tour de force…This is intellectual history of tremendous verve, insight, and significance. Unfailingly spirited, often poetic, Gleick recharges our astonishment over the complexity and resonance of the digital sphere and ponders our hunger for connectedness. . . . Destined to be a science classic, best-seller Gleick’s dynamic history of information will be one of the biggest nonfiction books of the year.” —Booklist, starred review

“With his brilliant ability to synthesize mounds of details and to tell rich stories, Gleick leads us on a journey from one form of communication information to another…Gleick’s exceptional history of culture concludes that information is indeed the blood, the fuel, and the vital principle on which our world runs.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“No author is better equipped for such a wide- ranging tour than Mr. Gleick. Some writers excel at crafting a historical narrative, others at elucidating esoteric theories, still others at humanizing scientists. Mr. Gleick is a master of all these skills.” —Wall Street Journal

“Gleick presses rousing tales from the history of human communication into the service of one Very Big Idea . . . he does what only the best science writers can: take a subject of which most of us are only peripherally aware and put it at the center of the universe.” —Time

“A wide-ranging, deeply researched and delightfully engaging history…” —Los Angeles Times

“Gleick is one of the great science writers of our age. . . . The Information is an entertaining and instructive romp through the history of information technologies…for anyone interested in learning more about the important and ever-more-prominent role that information plays in our society, the book is not only a pleasure to read, it is well worth reading.” —American Scientist

“The gifted science writer James Gleick explains how we’ve progressed from seeing information as the expression of human thought and emotion to looking at it as a commodity that can be processed, like wheat or plutonium. It’s a long, complicated, and important story, and in Gleick’s hands it’s also a mesmerizing one…As a celebration of human ingenuity, The Information is a deeply hopeful book.” —Nicholas Carr, Daily Beast

“A grand narrative if ever there was one. . . . 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. And there are anecdotes that every reader can enjoy. . . . A prodigious intellectual survey.” —New York Times Book Review

“So ambitious, illuminating and sexily theoretical that it will amount to aspirational reading for many of those who have the mettle to tackle it. . . . The Information is to the nature, history and significance of data what the beach is to sand.” —New York Times

“A highly ambitious and generally brilliant effort to tie together centuries of disparate scientific efforts to understand information as a meaningful concept. . . . By the close of the book you cannot think of information as you might have before. It has become, quite palpably, something different than almost anything we encounter: resistant to decay and capable of perfect self-reproduction. It outlasts the organic beings who create it, and, by replication, the inorganic mediums used to store it. The Information—not unlike other science books that tackle big human quests for understanding—at times bears more than a passing resemblance to a spiritual text.” —Slate

“When collected together in this coherent historical narrative, [his observations] do feel ‘revelatory,’ as his publisher claims. . . . Gleick is wrestling with truly profound material, and so will the reader. This is not a book you will race through on a single plane trip. It is a slow, satisfying meal.” —Columbia Journalism Review

“Accessible and engrossing.” —Library Journal

“The author’s skills as an interpreter of science shine . . . for completist cybergeeks and infojunkies, the book delivers a solid summary of a dense, complex subject.” —Kirkus

“Extraordinary in its sweep . . . Gleick’s story is beautifully told, extensively sourced, and continually surprising.” —Brainiac, Boston Globe online

“Entertaining, funny and clever.” —New Scientist

“A brilliant, panoramic view of how we save and communicate knowledge...and provides thrilling portraits of the geniuses behind the inventions. Provocative and illuminating.” —People

“A commanding chronicle of the information revolution…tantalizing.” —philly.com

“An ambitious, sprawling work.” –Kirkus

“Absorbing. . . . The Information is lyrical, patient, impeccably researched, and full of interesting digressions.” —The Boston Globe

“Tremendously enjoyable. Gleick has an eye and ear for the catchy detail and observation…offers a broad and fascinating foundation, impressive in its reach. A very good read, certainly recommended.” —The Complete Review

“A book about everything…Gleick sees the world as an endlessly unfolding opportunity in which ‘creatures of the information’ might just recognize themselves.” —Shelfari

“An interesting and detailed history of how we’ve moved from an alphabet to words, writing, dictionaries, etc.” —Alpha

“[Gleick] remains a gifted writer with a passion for a subject that would easily drown many of us.” —About.com

“Expertly draws out neglected names and stories from history…Gleick’s skill as an expicator of counterintuitive concepts makes the chapters on logic, the stuff even most philosophy majors slept through in class, brim with tension.” —Oregonlive.com

“This is the page-turner you never knew you desperately wanted to read.” —The Stranger Slog

“This is an amazing book. If you have any designs on being a professor of information, you should read this book slowly and thoughtfully.” —ALA TechSource

“Absorbing. . . . The Information is lyrical, patient, impeccably researched, and full of interesting digressions.” —The Boston Globe

“A highly ambitious and generally brilliant effort to tie together centuries of disparate scientific efforts to understand information as a meaningful concept…By the close of the book you cannot think of information as you might have before. It has become, quite palpably, something different than almost anything we encounter: resistant to decay and capable of perfect self-reproduction. It outlasts the organic beings who create it, and, by replication, the inorganic mediums used to store it. The Information—not unlike other science books that tackle big human quests for understanding—at times bears more than a passing resemblance to a spiritual text.” —Slate

“Heady. . . This intellectual history is intoxicating–thanks to Gleick’s clear mind, magpie-styled research and explanatory verve.” —Cleveland.com

“To write a history of information . . . it’s beyond ambitious—it’s audacious. But James Gleick pulls it off. . . . A gracefully written book.” —USA Today

“Imaginatively conceived and staggeringly researched. . . . A transformative work.” —The Phoenix.com

“Rich and fascinating.” —Washington Post

“The most ambitious, compelling, insert-word-of-intellectual-awe-here book to read this year.” —The Atlantic

“Wide-ranging and fascinating.” —New York Journal of Books

“The most comprehensive book written, to date, about information. An amazing erudite and yet highly readable account. . . . [A]mongst the most profound books written about technology.” —Tech Crunch, TCTV

“Very fascinating. . . . It will make readers see the world more intelligently than before. Essential.” —Choice, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

“In his fascinating new history of the rise and the breadth of today’s communication age, Gleick sheds light on the many ways we impart and receive information.” —New York Times Styles

“A powerful and rigorous and at times very moving history of information. . . . You can dip into The Information at just about any point and emerge with a magnificent detail.” —Time, Top 10 of Everything 2011

“Grand, lucid and awe-inspiring. . . . [I]nformation is about a lot more than what human beings have to say to each other. It’s the very stuff of reality, and never have its mysteries been offered up with more elegance or aplomb.” —Salon.com best of 2011

Magnificent. . . . [T]his elegant, insightful study reminds us that we have always been adrift in an incomprehensible universe.” —LA Times best books of 2011

“A sprawling yet fascinating book by an acclaimed American science writer, The Information ranges from biology to particle physics and explores the links between information, communications, data and meaning from earliest times to the present day.” —The Economist

The Information is lyrical, patient, impeccably researched, and jammed with interesting—um, well—information.” —Boston Globe Best of 2011



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 
James Gleick is our leading chronicler of science and modern technology. His first book, Chaos, a National Book Award finalist, has been translated into twenty-five languages. His best-selling biographies, Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman and Isaac Newton, were short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize. The Information was seven years in the making. Gleick divides his time between New York and Florida.





.
.
.
.
.
.