From Publishers Weekly
Though paper was invented in China around 100-200 B.C., it took nearly a thousand years for Europeans to employ it and Muslims were responsible for introducing them to the technology. Bostoon College professor of Islamic and Asian art Jonathan M. Bloom explores paper's early evolution and use in Paper Before Print: The History and Impact of Paper in the Islamic World, and argues that "much in the history of Islamic civilization in the Middle Ages... can be seen in terms of the conflicting claims of memory and written record." Accompanying Bloom's elegant prose are 48 color plates and 53 b&w illustrations of maps, illustrated texts of Islamic poetry, pages of the Koran, and papermaking techniques.
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"A very ambitious book of wide intellectual scope and down-to-earth relevance to the humanities - not just to the study of Islamic culture. It is brimful of ideas and fizzes with life." Robert Hillenbrand, University of Edinburgh