The Gutenberg Revolution: The Story of a Genius and an Invention That Changed the World

John Man (Author)


In 1450, all Europe's books were handcopied and amounted to only a few thousand. By 1500, they were printed and numbered in their millions. The invention of Johann Gutenberg had caused a revolution: printing by movable type. Born in 1400 in Mainz, Germany, Gutenberg struggled against a background of plague and religious upheaval to bring his remarkable invention to light. His story is full of paradoxes: his ambition was to reunite all Christendom, but his invention shattered it; he aimed to make a fortune, but was cruelly denied the fruits of his life's work. Yet history remembers him as a visionary; his discovery marks the beginning of the modern world.

Product Details

Bantam Books
Publish Date
May 01, 2010
5.3 X 0.78 X 7.66 inches | 0.53 pounds
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About the Author

John Man is a historian and travel writer whose other titles include Alpha Beta, Attila, Genghis Khan, and The Great Wall.


"The best book about the origin of books you could read. It is clear, engaging, fast-paced and authoritative."
-- Stephen Fry
"Extremely erudite and enormously enthusiastic."
-- "Guardian"
"Extremely erudite and enormously enthusiastic." "Guardian""
"Vivid . . . engaging, detailed and highly readable . . . a window on an extraordinary display of consummate skill and creative genius." --New Scientist
"At the heart of Man's enchanting narrative is Gutenberg's place as an early capitalist, an entrepreneur, deprived of patrician status by his mother's modest background, who set out to strike it rich in business." --New York Times Book Review
"A heavily detailed account, but still accessible to a general audience." --Booklist
The best book about the origin of books you could read . . . clear, engaging, fast-paced and authoritative." --Stephen Fry
"Extremely erudite and enormously enthusiastic." --Guardian