New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2013
xvi, 430 : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm ISBN/ISSN:
9780307266422, 0307266427, 9780307266422, Language:
A consideration of all things paper--the invention that revolutionized human civilization; its thousand-fold uses (and misuses); its sweeping influence on society; its makers, shapers, collectors, and pulpers--by the admired cultural historian
Common bond -- Goddess by the stream -- Road trip -- Rags to riches -- The sound of money -- One and done -- Fiery consequences -- Papers, please -- Hard copy -- Metamorphosis -- Face value -- On paper -- Things unknown -- The drawing board -- Sleight of hand -- In the mold -- At the crossroads -- Elegy in fragments
Login to write a review of your own.
Reviews by AHML cardholders
This 2000 year history of paper is told through personal stories of paper-makers, fascinating historical tidbits, and the author's near-obsession with paper, books and the written word. It's not a perfectly linear history. Basbanes writes about a trip to China, and the amazing families of paper-makers he met there, and tells a bit of the paper-making history in that region, before going on to talking about Japan and the spiritual connection the Japanese people have with paper. He tells a story about how paper was a key component in the only deaths on American soil incurred during WWII because of an attack by the Japanese. I don't want to say too much about it, because it was quite a surprising story. Then it's on to France and the first manned hot air balloon flight, and a bit about how paper influenced the development of Islam.
On Paper is not just a dry history book, but a collection of stories about people from all over the world, and throughout the last 2000 years, who's lives have been changed by, or dedicated to, the art and craft of paper-making. From toilet tissue, to sticky notes, to handmade art paper, to ornate wrapping paper, we all use mass quantities of paper every day without a second thought. Knowing a bit about how it all came about and how all of the various types of paper are produced makes this a great book for readers who are interested in art or books, but also for people who are just interested in history in general. Nicholas Basbanes' conversational, story-telling style makes this book very readable for most people who enjoy nonfiction.
Reviews from other readers
to add this item to your list.
Lists can be used to compile collections of items that you may be interested in checking out at a later date. You may also create public lists and share your favorites with other AHML customers.
No tags, currently.Login
to add tags.
To create a multiple word tag such as Science Fiction, enclose both words in quotes, like: "Science Fiction"