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Robert Darnton is a unique authority, whose work on this subject for more than a decade has helped invent the discipline of the History of the Book. An essayist, expert witness and commentator, he is a leading voice on the significance of the changes that are taking place in the world of books and digitization.
The era of the book as the unrivalled source and vehicle for knowledge is coming to an end. Digitization makes the physical properties of books disposable; e-book readers and mobile phones render them portable and accessible almost everywhere. Google and Amazon could command near monopolistic positions as sellers and dispensers of digital information relatively unfiltered by the traditional caucus of book experts
As the Librarian at Harvard (the world's most prestigious book collection), he is intellectually responsible for the status and functioning of the world's largest university library. He is the author of many books, monographs and contributions to public knowledge.
It is a significant and timely book for book people, and an important and optimistic book about books and their evolution, published at a moment of significant turmoil, excitement and anxiety for anyone who writes, publishes, studies, or simply reads them.