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The Information - James Gleick

The Information

By James Gleick

  • Release Date: 2011-03-01
  • Genre: History
Score: 3.5
From 273 Ratings


From the bestselling author of the acclaimed Chaos and Genius comes a thoughtful and provocative exploration of the big ideas of the modern era: Information, communication, and information theory. 
Acclaimed science writer James Gleick presents an eye-opening vision of how our relationship to information has transformed the very nature of human consciousness. A fascinating intellectual journey through the history of communication and information, from the language of Africa’s talking drums to the invention of written alphabets; from the electronic transmission of code to the origins of information theory, into the new information age and the current deluge of news, tweets, images, and blogs. Along the way, Gleick profiles key innovators, including Charles Babbage, Ada Lovelace, Samuel Morse, and Claude Shannon, and reveals how our understanding of information is transforming not only how we look at the world, but how we live.

New York Times Notable Book
Los Angeles Times and Cleveland Plain Dealer Best Book of the Year
Winner of the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award


  • Very enjoyable techie history read

    By Zach80
    Found this book to be excellent, albeit hard to understand at times, the author does a good job of explaining abstract, complicated topics, such as bits, quantum theory, mathematics. Definitely an interesting and somewhat challenging read, very informative, no pun intended! Highly recommended for any tech geeks, history buffs, educators, psychologists, and anyone interested math, physics, technology, programming, etc. Gleick is a great non-fiction writer! Found this after reading his Isaac Newton book.
  • Fascinating

    By Beto de Bernal
    Well written, a great book on a complex subject...
  • worth the effort

    By Sean and Daddy
    I found it to be an excellent journey through the history of human communication. The book grabbed me right away with the "talking drums of Africa". There were only one or two times during the entire (lengthy) book when I thought the information was getting dense, but whose fault is that? Gleick titled the book "The Information".
  • Can you imagine not being able to imagine writing?

    I was quite happy with the review that I painstakingly typed into my iPad over the last half hour. iBooks was also impressed. I know this because it immediately crashed and erased everything I wrote. (it devoured my review. beep beep beep beep. it's kind of… a bummer) So, I suppose you'll have to take my (abbreviated) word for it - the book is very good. read it. The gist of my original review is this: Most history books, especially history of science, can't escape the condescension implicit to hindsight. Gleick avoids it by thoroughly describing thought and perception in a world where the telephone (the dictionary. logic. the written word), is not missing, it's just… unimaginable.
  • Philosophical version of Gleick

    By foldr
    Not typical Gleick. Some interesting history, but too much philosophical waxing. Those who are into this style will appreciate this work as it's expressed as a full symphony on information. Those who want something more concise, will find the work long albeit punctuated with some fascinating history. Because I belong to the latter category, I'm not sure I can recommend this to the fan of Gleick's previous work embodied by his books on chaos, and Feynman.
  • The Information

    By James 345
    This a fantastic book! Anyone that has ZZZZZZ from reading it should take a nap and pick up Dan Brown. I learned more and was amazed by the intellectual power of the author in making a very difficult topic understandable and interesting. From beginning to end it is a tour de force! Thanks, James Gleick. Jim Clark