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Comment: Delivered from the UK in 10-21 days. No date (c. 1947). Hutchinson. Hard Cover. Book- VG, gilt titles on spine, red boards, spine sunned. 9x6. 606pp. Some b/w illus. This provides an introduction to the fascinating subject of the history of the alphabet. After giving a historical sketch of the development of the non-alphabetic scripts, it goes on to deal with the origins and development of the alphabet.
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THE ALPHABET: A KEY TO THE HISTORY OF MANKIND. Hardcover – 1947


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: 1947) (1947)
  • ASIN: B001NGXFE8
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By prague1@hotmail.com on July 24, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I was so excited to find this book on my university library shelf... the orignal 2 volume set, that is. I couldn't find those anywhere, so finally I ordered the new version. This one is printed in New Delhi and has a very shabby binding. The examples seem to be all hand-drawn and crude compared to the older books. It still gives an excellent view of all alphabets of all time.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By S. Gustafson on December 8, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book is one of the most fascinating vademecums ever written. Just about every alphabet and most more complex scripts ever devised by human beings are given here, with complete tables of the characters and their values. An attempt is made to trace the history of alphabetic writing back to its origin in the Middle East. The text itself deserves a five star rating

The production of this edition deserves a one.... mine had apparently been treated rather shabbily in the passage from the Indian subcontinent (where a guide to alphabets must be quite handy) to the USA.

I've wanted one of these ever since reading it on the shelves of the public library....
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Shalom Freedman HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 23, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I first read this book many years ago, and did not really understand its significance. Recently I heard Professor Daniel Sperber speak about the book. He explains that prior to the invention of the alphabet, writing in pictograms meant learning a very large amount of individual symbols. Thus it was confined to the priestly elite , who controlled the religious and legal knowledge in their societies.
The development of the Alphabet , a phonetic system wherein each letter signified a certain sound, and words could be formed through the combination of sounds meant that the process of reading is democratized. Most people can learn the thirty or so letters of the 'alphabet' and thus learn to read. The Alphabet meant a vast spreading of human knowledge, and a democratization of the process of learning.
Diringer's pioneering study provides a guide to the systems of writing preceding the creation of the alphabet, and then traces the development of the Alphabet historically.
This is a classic work in its field.
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