Library: An Unquiet History

3.46 avg rating
( 1,359 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780393325645: Library: An Unquiet History

"Splendidly articulate, informative and provoking....A book to be savored and gone back to."―Baltimore Sun

On the survival and destruction of knowledge, from Alexandria to the Internet. Through the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved but also shaped, inspired, and obliterated knowledge. Matthew Battles, a rare books librarian and a gifted narrator, takes us on a spirited foray from Boston to Baghdad, from classical scriptoria to medieval monasteries, from the Vatican to the British Library, from socialist reading rooms and rural home libraries to the Information Age.

He explores how libraries are built and how they are destroyed, from the decay of the great Alexandrian library to scroll burnings in ancient China to the destruction of Aztec books by the Spanish―and in our own time, the burning of libraries in Europe and Bosnia.

Encyclopedic in its breadth and novelistic in its telling, this volume will occupy a treasured place on the bookshelf next to Baker's Double Fold, Basbanes's A Gentle Madness, Manguel's A History of Reading, and Winchester's The Professor and the Madman.

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

About the Author:

Matthew Battles is the author of Palimpsest and Library: An Unquiet History and a program fellow at the Berkman Center of Harvard University, where he is associate director of metaLAB, a research group exploring the bounds of networked culture.

From Publishers Weekly:

Battles, a contributor to Harper's and a Harvard librarian, offers a distinguished portrait of the library, its endurance and destruction throughout history, and traces how the library's meaning was questioned or altered according to the climate of the time. In accessible prose, Battles recounts the building and burning that have marked the library's long history. The Vatican Library built by Pope Nicholas V set the standard during the Renaissance, and the one built by the Jews in the Vilna ghetto during WWII showed the importance of books to a community under siege. Meanwhile, the mythic third-century B.C. book burnings by Chinese emperor Shi Huangdi were an effort to erase history, as was the catastrophic destruction of millions of books by the Nazis in the spring of 1933. Dynamic characters lend this history a novelistic tone: Julius Caesar began the library movement in Rome; Antonio Panizzi, an Italian revolutionary and exile, turned the library of the British Museum into one of the world's greatest in the 19th century; more recently, Nikola Koljevic, a scholar turned Serb nationalist, directed the siege of Sarajevo that led to a book burning at the Bosnian National and University Library. Battles also enlightens readers regarding the evolution of bookmaking, the card catalogue and the role of the librarian, including the most famous of all, Melvil Dewey, whose decimal system was only a small part of his influence. This always compelling history illustrates Battles's theme: despite the rule of barbarians or megalomaniacal kings, angry mobs and natural disasters, people's hunger for books has ensured the library's survival. 11 illus.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Battles, Matthew
ISBN 10: 0393325644 ISBN 13: 9780393325645
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Big River Books
(Powder Springs, GA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New! We ship daily Monday - Friday!. Bookseller Inventory # 1EYDQW000LMX

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 30.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.49
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Battles, Matthew
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (2004)
ISBN 10: 0393325644 ISBN 13: 9780393325645
New Trade paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
The First Edition
(Delaware, OH, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2004. Trade paperback. Book Condition: New. New. Trade paperback (US). Glued binding. Contains: Illustrations. Audience: General/trade. Bookseller Inventory # 759612

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 34.67
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Battles, Matthew
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (2004)
ISBN 10: 0393325644 ISBN 13: 9780393325645
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110393325644

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 51.90
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Matthew Battles
Published by W. W. Norton & Company (2004)
ISBN 10: 0393325644 ISBN 13: 9780393325645
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0393325644

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 61.80
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

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

5.

Battles, Matthew
Published by W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN 10: 0393325644 ISBN 13: 9780393325645
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description W. W. Norton & Company. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0393325644 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0132033

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds