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A History of Communications
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Communications and Humanity advances a new theory of media that explains the origins and impact of different forms of communication - speech, writing, print, electronic devices and the Internet - on human history in the long term. New media are 'pulled' into widespread use by broad historical trends and these media, once in widespread use, 'push' social institutions and beliefs in predictable directions. This view allows us to see for the first time what is truly new about the Internet, what is not, and where it is taking us.
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Table of Contents

Introduction: media causes and effects; 1. Homo loquens: humanity in the age of speech and memory; 2. Homo scriptor: humanity in the age of manuscripts; 3. Homo lector: humanity in the age of print; 4. Homo videns: humanity in the age of the audio-visual media; 5. Homo somnians: humanity in the age of Internet; Conclusion: the media and human well-being.

About the Author

Marshall T. Poe, Associate Professor of History at the University of Iowa, is the author or editor of several books, including A People Born to Slavery: Russia in Early Modern European Ethnography (2000), The Russian Elite in the Seventeenth Century (2004) and The Russian Moment in World History (2006). He is the co-founder and editor of Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History and founder and host of 'New Books in History' (http://newbooksinhistory.com), as well as a former writer and editor for the Atlantic Monthly. Professor Poe has been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton University), Harriman Institute (Columbia University) and the Kennan Institute (Washington, DC).

Reviews

'Based on a truly impressive range (as well as amount) of reading, arguing an original and convincing thesis, and written in a lucid and engaging style, this book deserves to reach a wide audience of students and scholars alike.' Peter Burke, University of Cambridge 'The ambition and sweep of Marshall Poe's analysis of media make it different from anything else I have read on the topic. Many modern 'consumers' of media, in all its forms, have a vague sense that technological advances are altering their sense of the world in ways they can't fully appreciate in real time. Poe's book is a big advance in helping citizens understand the opportunities and problems the new media landscape offers.' James Fallows, The Atlantic

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