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Making the Information Society: Experience, Consequences, and Possibilities Hardcover – September 12, 2001


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Pearson Education; 1st edition (September 12, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0130659061
  • ISBN-13: 978-0130659064
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,458,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The phrase "Information Age" obscures a transformation in society with deeper roots—and deeper meaning—than even its most fevered advocates recognize. In Making the Information Society, Dr. James Cortada demonstrates how the values and behavior of the information age are firmly rooted in hundreds of years of Western culture. Then, as never before, Cortada illuminates the complex chain of experiences, consequences, and new possibilities that made the information age a reality—and continue to drive it forward today.

* Since the Pilgrims: An information culture
From broadsides to broadcasts, from the telegraph to the Internet, nothing is more American than information
* Information and democracy
How the information revolution may flow naturally from respect for the rights of individuals, free speech, and a love of law and democracy
* Work, play, and faith
How Americans are learning to leverage information technology in every significant aspect of their lives
* The role of technology
How technological developments shape the possibilities for using information
* The future of information
What next for the information revolution?

If Alexis de Tocqueville were writing about America in the information age, this is the book he'd write. In Making the Information Society, Dr. James Cortada offers profound new perspective on the meaning of the information age in American society.

Cortada is uniquely positioned to write this book: he is both a leading authority on the history of information technology and a long-time IBM technology consultant to leading corporations. In Making the Information Society, he steps back from the hurly-burly of the Internet, current technological advance, and stock market churn, viewing the broad sweep of change related to information technology, and the unparalleled impact of information on American society. Cortada takes on questions like:

  • Why did the information revolution take root in America first?
  • Why have Americans been uniquely receptive to the promises of information technology?
  • How is American creativity leveraging information technology in every slice of life, from work to play to religion?
  • What's likely to happen next, as the information age continues to evolve at breakneck speed?

Cortada's observations about the realities of information technology are grounded firmly in American culture, and his look into the future offers thought-provoking reading for anyone who wants to make sense of the information revolution—a revolution that's far from finished.

"James Cortada has written a landmark account of the role of information in the United States that has lessons and insights for all societies. His historical approach illuminates what's happening in the Information Age and provides a perspective for dealing with future developments. It has certain appeal to anyone interested in communications, business, and technology."

— Edward Wakin, Ph.D., Fordham University

About the Author

DR. JAMES W. CORTADA is Director of CSL Programs and Support for IBM Global Services in Madison, WI. He is a leading authority on the use, management, and history of information technology, and is author of over two dozen books on these subjects. He lectures widely on how companies are moving from the old to the new economy.

Cortada's most recent books include 21st Century Business: Managing and Working in the New Digital Economy (Prentice Hall PTR); Into the Network Age: How IBM and Other Companies Are Getting There Now; The Rise of the Knowledge Worker, and Best Practices in Information Technology. Together with Professor Alfred D. Chandler, he edited A Nation Transformed: How Information Shaped the United States from Colonial Times to the Present.

Dr. Cortada is a member of the American Society of Quality and is the Chairman of the Charles Babbage Foundation at the University of Minnesota. He holds a Ph.D. in Modern History from Florida State University.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is for history buffs, culture gurus, and people who just like to notice what's going on in American life. It adds a new theme to our understanding of American history. Apparently, we've always loved information. We're probably addicted to it and experience constant change as a result. With stories about Pilgrim Bibles, newspaper sports scores, internet addiction, and TV preachers, Cortada's book entertains and makes you think. Worth a look.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bill on December 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover
To me this book is like having a dinner with artichokes for the appetizer, a porterhouse and garlic mashed potatoes for the main course, and maple walnut ice cream for dessert. It combined all my favorite things into one. I love history. I work with information systems and I am excited about the future. This book combines all of them.
This book examines how information systems have affected our society throughout history as well exploring the possibilities of what the future might hold. Have you ever considered how information systems have affected our history? Have you ever thought about how it is going to affect our future? Mr. Cortada?s insightful book provides great food for thought. There is just so much stuff here that is really fascinating.
Any student of history will certainly enjoy this book. Any one professionally involved with information systems should read this book. It made me appreciate the value of the commodity in which we trade, information.
The back of the book says that the author has written over two dozen books on these subjects. I really think I need to go out and get some of them. It also says that he is a lecturer. I look forward to the day when I can hear him speak.
Well done!!
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More About the Author

I was trained as an historian and spent nearly 40 years at IBM in sales and consulting before joining the Charles Babbage Institute at the University of Minnesota as a Senior Research Fellow. I am the author of a dozen books on European history and two dozen on the history of information technologies and another dozen on business management. My interests focus largely around the role of information in modern societies: use, managemnt, and history. I am currently writing a history of the use of information in 20th century America. I just published a book on how whole societies adopted information technologies from the 1940s to the present, called The Digital Flood. It took a lot of work to do, but now we at least have one global history of computing.