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Well, my first response is that the book, in its traditional form, has been as much of an idea generator as the Web or the city over the centuries. In part that was because it had been the best mechanism for storing and sharing information, before computers and networks came along. But also because the linear format of the book -- and the word count of most books -- allowed more complex and important arguments or observations to be presented. So I would hope we can preserve some of that linearity and that length in the digital age. But in general, I am exhilarated by all the new possibilities of the networked book. I wrote an essay for the WSJ journal a few years ago -- inspired actually by the Kindle I had just bought -- about where I thought the book was heading. Here's the link: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123980920727621353.html
I found this book to be very well written and informative.
Steven Johnson has written an engaging book about Joseph Priestley, a true Renaissance Man who contributed mightily to the Age of Enlightenment in the 18th Century.
One person says he makes too much of Priestley as a scientist, though in fact he describes those limitations quite well.
Even high school science students will recall stories of Joseph Priestley and oxygen and Benjamin Franklin and kite flying but I doubt most readers know what renaissance men the... Read morePublished 14 days ago by rdr80
This was really very interesting - who knew Priestley not only discovered Oxygen but also was friends with both Franklin and Jefferson. Read morePublished 4 months ago by John Gloor
This was a quick read; it was entertaining and informative. I liked GHOST MAP better, but this was certainly worth reading.Published 6 months ago by KF
Well written and easy to read. Steven Johnson takes the reader on an exciting adventure of discovery. This book should be a part of every high-school curriculum.Published 6 months ago by Enrique Caliz
Informative and thoughtful insights into a fascinating period in history. Anyone interested in the US colonial period and/or history of science will appreciate this story.Published 8 months ago by F. Zollo
The story of Joseph Priestley and his contemporaries around the time of the American revolution. A well crafted blend of history, science, and politics. 2010Published 10 months ago by A&P
In The Invention of Air, Johnson writes about the English natural philosopher Joseph Priestly who is credited with the discovery of oxygen. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Steve Ruskin
This is the biography of the scientist Joseph Priestly and the events that happened around him. I found the story to be an interesting mix of science and history, as well as... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Christopher Obert
Writing is so,so, but the information given is fantastic. A lot of research went into this book, detail by detail. Enjoyed reading about the beginnings of the American Revolution.Published 12 months ago by Merrilee Weir