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Connections [Pictorial, Companion to the Nationally Acclaimed PBS Television Series, Rhythm of Change in Humanity, Actions, Reactions, Consequences of change and How All of Us are Closely connected]

Burke, James

1,660 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0316116815 / ISBN 13: 9780316116817
Published by Little, Brown 1978, Clean and Unmarked Text, 1978
From GREAT PACIFIC BOOKS (Ventura, CA, U.S.A.)

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Quality Hardback : hard cover edition in Very Good condition, some slight wear to edges, as normal for age of book; and in a Good Dust Jacket with some egdewear and slight chipping. Overall good / nice copy of this scarce title. Excellent reading on the subject. A good book to enjoy and keep on hand for yourself, or would make a GREAT GIFT for the fan / reader in your life. Reading is one of the great pleasures in life. Editorial Reviews : You can make all the plans you will, plot to make a fortune in the commodities market, speculate on developing trends: all will likely come to naught, for ; however carefully you plan for the future, someone else's actions will inevitably modify the way your plans turn out. ; So writes the English scholar and documentary producer James Burke in his sparkling book Connections, a favorite of historically minded readers ever since its first publication in 1978. Taking a hint from Jacob Bronowski's Ascent of Man, Burke charts the course of technological innovation from ancient times to the present, but always with a subversive eye for things happening in spite of, and not because of, their inventors' intentions. Burke gives careful attention to the role of accident in human history. In his opening pages, for instance, he writes of the invention of uniform coinage, an invention that hinged on some unknown Anatolian prospector's discovering that a fleck of gold rubbed against a piece of schist--a ; touchstone ; --would leave a mark indicating its quality. Just so, we owe the invention of modern printing to Johann Gutenberg's training as a goldsmith, for his knowledge of the properties of metals enabled him to develop a press whose letterforms would not easily wear down. With Gutenberg's invention, Burke notes, came a massive revolution in the European economy, for, as he writes, ; the easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens. ; Burke's book is a splendid and educational entertainment for our fast-changing time. --Gregory McNamee --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Connections is a brilliant examination of the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological achievements of today. The best-selling companion volume to the ; unusually intelligent television series ; (Christian Science Monitor) produced by the BBC and broadcast by PBS in autumn 1979, it was conceived in the tradition of the highly popular Civilisation and The Ascent of Man. Connections masterfully combines popular science and detective work to retrace the steps that led to eight inventions that ushered in the technological age: the computer, the production line, telecommunications, the airplane, the atomic bomb, plastics, the guided rocket, and television. James Burke untangles the pattern of interconnecting events, the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to these inventions and to a host of related discoveries along the way. He explains, for instance, how the arrival of the cannon led eventually to the development of movies; how the popularity of underwear in the twelfth century led to the invention of the printing press; how the waterwheel evolved into the computer. He links these inventions with one another and with the stream of history, exploring them with dazzling insight. Size: Ideas Inventions and Conincidences Culture History. Bookseller Inventory # 5026544

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Connections [Pictorial, Companion to the ...

Publisher: Little, Brown 1978, Clean and Unmarked Text

Publication Date: 1978

Illustrator: Fully Illustrated

Dust Jacket Condition: Yes

Book Type: TV Show Tie in

About this title

Synopsis:

  • How did the popularity of underwear in the twelfth century lead to the invention of the printing press?
  • How did the waterwheel evolve into the computer?
  • How did the arrival of the cannon lead eventually to the development of movies?


In this highly acclaimed and bestselling book, James Burke brilliantly examines the ideas, inventions, and coincidences that have culminated in the major technological advances of today. With dazzling insight, he untangles the pattern of interconnecting events: the accidents of time, circumstance, and place that gave rise to the major inventions of the world.

Says Burke, "My purpose is to acquaint the reader with some of the forces that have caused change in the past, looking in particular at eight innovations -- the computer, the production line, telecommunications, the airplane, the atomic bomb, plastics, the guided rocket, and television -- which may be most influential in structuring our own futures....Each one of these is part of a family of similar devices, and is the result of a sequence of closely connected events extending from the ancient world until the present day. Each has enormous potential for humankind's benefit -- or destruction."

Based on a popular TV documentary series, Connections is a fascinating scientific detective story of the inventions that changed history -- and the surprising links that connect them.

Review:

You can make all the plans you will, plot to make a fortune in the commodities market, speculate on developing trends: all will likely come to naught, for "however carefully you plan for the future, someone else's actions will inevitably modify the way your plans turn out." So writes the English scholar and documentary producer James Burke in his sparkling book Connections, a favorite of historically minded readers ever since its first publication in 1978. Taking a hint from Jacob Bronowski's Ascent of Man, Burke charts the course of technological innovation from ancient times to the present, but always with a subversive eye for things happening in spite of, and not because of, their inventors' intentions. Burke gives careful attention to the role of accident in human history. In his opening pages, for instance, he writes of the invention of uniform coinage, an invention that hinged on some unknown Anatolian prospector's discovering that a fleck of gold rubbed against a piece of schist--a "touchstone"--would leave a mark indicating its quality. Just so, we owe the invention of modern printing to Johann Gutenberg's training as a goldsmith, for his knowledge of the properties of metals enabled him to develop a press whose letterforms would not easily wear down. With Gutenberg's invention, Burke notes, came a massive revolution in the European economy, for, as he writes, "the easier it is to communicate, the faster change happens." Burke's book is a splendid and educational entertainment for our fast-changing time. --Gregory McNamee

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