A Place for Everything: The Curious History of Alphabetical Order

Judith Flanders (Author)
Pre-Order   Ships Oct 20, 2020

Description

From a New York Times-bestselling historian comes the story of how the alphabet ordered our world.
A Place for Everything is the first-ever history of alphabetization, from the Library of Alexandria to Wikipedia. The story of alphabetical order has been shaped by some of history's most compelling characters, such as industrious and enthusiastic early adopter Samuel Pepys and dedicated alphabet champion Denis Diderot. But though even George Washington was a proponent, many others stuck to older forms of classification -- Yale listed its students by their family's social status until 1886. And yet, while the order of the alphabet now rules -- libraries, phone books, reference books, even the order of entry for the teams at the Olympic Games -- it has remained curiously invisible.
With abundant inquisitiveness and wry humor, historian Judith Flanders traces the triumph of alphabetical order and offers a compendium of Western knowledge, from A to Z.

Product Details

Price
$30.00  $27.00
Publisher
Basic Books
Publish Date
October 20, 2020
Pages
352
Language
English
Type
Hardcover
EAN/UPC
9781541675070

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About the Author

Judith Flanders is a social historian. Her works include the bestselling The Invention of Murder, Inside the Victorian Home, and The Victorian City. She is senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham, as well as a frequent contributor to the Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian, and the Wall Street Journal.

Reviews

"Quirky and compelling... [Flanders] is a meticulous historian with a taste for the offbeat; the story of alphabetical order suits her well."--Dan Jones, The SundayTimes (UK)
"One of the many fascinations of Judith Flanders's book is that it reveals what a weird, unlikely creation the alphabet is...an intriguing history not just of alphabetical order but of the human need for both pattern and intellectual efficiency."--The Guardian