By Peter Burke

Peter Burke follows up his magisterial Social background of Knowledge, deciding upon up the place the 1st quantity left off round 1750 on the book of the French Encyclopédie and following the tale via to Wikipedia. just like the prior quantity, it deals a social heritage (or a retrospective sociology of information) within the experience that it focuses now not on contributors yet on teams, associations, collective practices and common tendencies.

The booklet is split into three elements. the 1st argues that actions which seem to be undying - collecting wisdom, analysing, disseminating and applying it - are in reality time-bound and take assorted types in several classes and locations. the second one half attempts to counter the tendency to put in writing a triumphalist historical past of the 'growth' of data by means of discussing losses of data and the cost of specialization. The 3rd half deals geographical, sociological and chronological overviews, contrasting the event of centres and peripheries and arguing that every of the most tendencies of the interval - professionalization, secularization, nationalization, democratization, and so forth, coexisted and interacted with its opposite.

As ever, Peter Burke offers a breath-taking variety of scholarship in prose of exemplary readability and accessibility. This hugely expected moment quantity could be crucial examining around the humanities and social sciences.

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