By Peter Burke
Peter Burke follows up his magisterial Social heritage of data, determining up the place the 1st quantity left off round 1750 on the ebook of the French Encyclopédie and following the tale via to Wikipedia. just like the past quantity, it bargains a social heritage (or a retrospective sociology of data) within the feel that it focuses no longer on participants yet on teams, associations, collective practices and common trends.
The booklet is split into three elements. the 1st argues that actions which seem to be undying - collecting wisdom, analysing, disseminating and using it - are in truth time-bound and take diversified types in numerous sessions and locations. the second one half attempts to counter the tendency to write down a triumphalist heritage of the 'growth' of information via discussing losses of data and the cost of specialization. The 3rd half bargains geographical, sociological and chronological overviews, contrasting the event of centres and peripheries and arguing that every of the most traits of the interval - professionalization, secularization, nationalization, democratization, and so forth, coexisted and interacted with its opposite.
As ever, Peter Burke offers a breath-taking diversity of scholarship in prose of exemplary readability and accessibility. This hugely expected moment quantity might be crucial analyzing around the humanities and social sciences.
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Additional resources for A Social History of Knowledge, Volume 2: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia
61 What was new in this period was the increasing interest in other cultural traditions and the acquisition of books and manuscripts in Arabic, Sanskrit, Chinese, Japanese and other non-European languages. Among the most famous texts discovered was the Rosetta Stone in Egypt, found in 1799, and the law-code of the Babylonian ruler Hammurabi, found in Iran in 1901. 51 Manuscripts on parchment, paper and papyrus continued to flow into museums, libraries and archives. 52 The Russian archaeologist Kozlov brought back 2,000 texts from his excavation of the city of Khara-Khoto in 1908.
One of these explorers, Alexander von Humboldt (figure 1), whose name will recur in these pages, has been described as ‘the German Columbus’. Figure 1: Alexander von Humboldt, statue in Berlin by R. Begas (1883) Photo by Adam Carr (2006). 8 Hemming’s definition excludes some women (below, p. 238) as well as the many explorers who failed to return, but his emphasis on bringing back knowledge is in tune with the aims of this book. The stories of the difficulties, the successes and the tragedies of the explorers lend themselves to heroic narratives, and they have been told again and again.
5 On the exploration of the Arctic, Bravo and Sörlin (2002). 6 Otterspeer (1989); Berkel et al. (1999); Jong (2004). 7 Pickstone (2000), 21. 8 Blair (2010), 1–10. 9 Cf. Konvitz (1987); Brown (1989); Waquet (2003, 2008). 10 Rueschemeyer and Skocpol (1996), 3. 11 Znaniecki (1940); McNeely with Wolverton (2008); McNeely (2009); Thackray and Merton (1972), 473. 12 Fabian (2000), 25. 13 Hudson (1981); Kuklick (1993); Harley (2001); Lane (2001). Cf. Ringer (2000). 14 Oleson and Voss (1979), 440–55. 15 Knorr-Cetina (1999).