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A History of Communications

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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 ew Books in History (, 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).


'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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