Reinventing Knowledge

From Alexandria to the Internet

29 September 2009


“It has the power to wrench familiar aspects of history into new and surprising shapes.”—Laura Miller, Salon

Here is an intellectual extravaganza, a dazzling history of the key institutions that have shaped and channeled knowledge in the West from the classical period to the present. Fashioned with elegance and wit, this exhilarating survey carries us through the pivotal points of institutional change and cultural transformation. It is full of memorable characters, from the flamboyant founder of the great library at Alexandria and the arrogant medieval logician Peter Abelard to the dashing global adventurer von Humboldt. In its compact history we find the perfect context for understanding the vast changes we are experiencing now in the landscape of knowledge.


"An impressively cohesive story that is full of delightful characters and fascinating details." — Austin Chronicle

"An inspiring read." — New Scientist

"A sprightly, stimulating and surprising study." — The Scotsman

"A magnificent overview of the history of knowledge production in the West." — Times Higher Education



140 x 211 mm • 344 pages


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