The Gutenberg Parenthesis: The Age of Print and Its Lessons for the Age of the Internet (Hardcover)
The Gutenberg Parenthesis traces the epoch of print from its fateful beginnings to our digital present - and draws out lessons for the age to come.The age of print is a grand exception in history. For five centuries it fostered what some call print culture - a worldview shaped by the completeness, permanence, and authority of the printed word. As a technology, print at its birth was as disruptive as the digital migration of today. Now, as the internet ushers us past print culture, journalist Jeff Jarvis offers important lessons from the era we leave behind. To understand our transition out of the Gutenberg Age, Jarvis first examines the transition into it. Tracking Western industrialized print to its origins, he explores its invention, spread, and evolution, as well as the bureaucracy and censorship that followed. He also reveals how print gave rise to the idea of the mass - mass media, mass market, mass culture, mass politics, and so on - that came to dominate the public sphere. What can we glean from the captivating, profound, and challenging history of our devotion to print? Could it be that we are returning to a time before mass media, to a society built on conversation, and that we are relearning how to hold that conversation with ourselves? Brimming with broader implications for today's debates over communication, authorship, and ownership, Jarvis' exploration of print on a grand scale is also a complex, compelling history of technology and power.
Jeff Jarvis holds the Leonard Tow Chair in Journalism Innovation and directs the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the City University of New York's Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. He was creator and founding managing editor of Entertainment Weekly, TV critic for TV Guide and People, Sunday editor of the New York Daily News, a media columnist for The Guardian, and president and creative director of Advance.net. He blogs at Buzzmachine.com, cohosts the podcast This Week in Google, and is the author of five books: What Would Google Do? (2009), Public Parts: How Sharing in the Digital Age Improves the Way We Work and Live (2011), Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News (2014), and Magazine (forthcoming, 2023) in Bloomsbury's Object Lessons series.