From the New York Times best-selling author of Cod and Salt, a definitive history of paper and the astonishing ways it has shaped today’s world.
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. 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. Paper will be the commodity history that guides us forward in the twenty-first century and illuminates our times.
About the Author
Mark Kurlansky is the New York Times best-selling author of twenty-nine books and a former foreign correspondent for The International Herald Tribune, The Chicago Tribune, The Miami Herald, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. He lives in New York City.
Kurlansky’s telling of this history...is swift, crisp, and deft. — Reid Mitenbuler - The Atlantic
[An] historical journey well worth the ride. [Kurlansky] has a deep instinct for telling detail, which he combines with a disarmingly fun narrative style. — Los Angeles Times
An historical journey well worth the ride. [Kurlansky] has a deep instinct for telling detail, which he combines with a disarmingly fun narrative style. Kurlansky makes a compelling case that paper has always been a revolutionary force – a foundation for expression of every sort — and that it is certainly not dead yet. — Elizabeth Taylor - The National Book Review
Kurlanksy tells [the history of paper] vividly in this compact and well-illustrated book….He has a sharp eye for curious details….[and] offers a versatile introduction to this long and complicated history. — Anthony Grafton - New York Times Book Review
A beautiful thing to hold and feel, and it presents a fine argument for the retention of paper as an aesthetically lusty object. — Simon Garfield - The Observer
One learns an awful lot from [Paper], all packaged in Kurlansky’s whipsmart prose.
— John Sutherland - The Times (London)
Littered with amazing facts. — Lily Rothman - Time magazine