Paper By Mark Kurlansky

Aug 15, 2016

  Paper is one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past two millennia, the ability to produce it in ever more efficient ways has supported the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art; it has formed the foundation of civilizations, promoting revolutions and restoring stability.

Now, amid discussion of “going paperless”―and as speculation about the effects of a digitally dependent society grows rampant― we’ve come to a world-historic juncture. By tracing paper’s evolution from antiquity to the present, with an emphasis on the contributions made in Asia and the Middle East, Mark Kurlansky challenges common assumptions about technology’s influence, affirming that paper is here to stay.