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On Paper

The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History

On Paper by Nicholas A. Basbanes
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A Best Book of the Year:
Mother Jones • Bloomberg News • National Post • Kirkus 

In these pages, Nicholas Basbanes—the consummate bibliophile’s bibliophile—shows how paper has been civilization’s constant companion. It preserves our history and gives record to our very finest literary, cultural, and scientific accomplishments. Since its invention in China nearly two millennia ago, the technology of paper has spread throughout the inhabited world.

With deep knowledge and care, Basbanes traces paper’s trail from the earliest handmade sheets to the modern-day mills. Paper, yoked to politics, has played a crucial role in the unfolding of landmark events, from the American Revolution to Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers to the aftermath of 9/11. Without paper, modern hygienic practice would be unimaginable; as currency, people will do almost anything to possess it; and, as a tool of expression, it is inextricable from human culture. Lavishly researched, compellingly written, this masterful guide illuminates paper’s endless possibilities. 

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group; October 2013
448 pages; ISBN 9780385350440
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Title: On Paper
Author: Nicholas A. Basbanes
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Sun, 03 Nov 2013 21:01:34 -0800
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Tue, 17 Dec 2013 03:05:23 -0800
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