iskape Audiobooks

Library: An Unquiet History

Author: Battles, Matthew
Narrator: Gardner, Grover
Format: CD
Approx. 6 hours
Jun 2007
Add to Wishlist!

Summary: Battles, a rare books librarian at Harvard and a gifted narrator, gives a colourful, fast-paced tour through the stacks from ancient times to the present. Through the ages, libraries have not only accumulated and preserved, but also controlled, inspired, shaped, hidden and obliterated knowledge: Battles' spirited journey takes us 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 beginnings of the World Wide Web. Along the way, Battles explores not only how libraries are built but also how they are destroyed, from the neglect and decay of Alexandria (and myth of its burning), to the burnings of scrolls in ancient China, to the destruction of Aztec books by the Spanish conquerers - and in our own time, the burning of libraries in Europe by the Nazis and by Bosnian Serbs in the Balkans. Rich with detail and thought-provoking at every turn, this slender volume is encyclopedic in its breadth and novelistic in its telling - and is ultimately an enlightened foray into the evolution of our Information Age. For everyone who loved Alberto Manguel's "A History of Reading", and Simon Winchester's "The Professor and the Madman", this book will occupy a treasured place on the bookshelf.

Main Categories: