This chapter has three sections explaining how the technology, the artifacts (books), and the people, changed how people saw their world and themselves.
The first section overviews the history and ‘fun facts’ of the press.
The next section explains how ‘the book’ changed people’s perceptions making the world:
- More replicable so more understandable.
- Future instead of past oriented
- Vernacular or common rather than classical and elite
The final section looks at the impact of the print information revolution on printers, scholars, women, and children.
As part of looking at scholars and scholarship the chapter looks at the difference between the West and the East – Byzantium, China and Islam.
The printed book presented a standardized, replicable, world where books were reliable, useful and pointed people toward the future. Printers were socially, economically, and geographically mobile, capitalists in touch with the intellectual trends of the day. Ordinary men from the crafts-producing class were ‘winners’. All women and children were excluded because they were illiterate in a world that now equated adulthood with literacy – they became ‘losers’ in this information revolution.