Written by two leading social and cultural historians, the first edition of A Social History of the Media has become a classic textbook, providing a masterful overview of communication media and of the social and cultural contexts within which they emerged and evolved over time.
In this new and revised edition, Asa Briggs and Peter Burke have updated their classic study to cover the exciting media developments of the early 21st Century. In addition to the classic material exploring the continuing importance of oral and manuscript communication, the rise of print and the relationship between physical transportation and social communication, a new chapter on multimedia now extends the far–reaching scope of this book. New media technologies are treated in new depth throughout the latter sections and the book concludes with an account of the convergences associated with digital communication technology, the rise of the internet and the phenomenon of globalization.
Avoiding technological determinism and rejecting assumptions of straightforward evolutionary progress, this book brings out the rich and varied histories of communication media. It will be an ideal text for students in history, media and cultural studies and journalism, but it will also appeal to a wide general readership. It has already been translated into more than ten languages.
is formerly Provost of Worcester College, Oxford and Chancellor of the Open University.
is Professor of Cultural History, University of Cambridge.
"This joint work, a master–piece of compression in its first edition, lives up to the claims of its title in this, its second … This book could add great strength to media studies teaching."
Times Higher Education Supplement
"Packed with lovely nuggets."
"Full of illuminating details and quotations …
A Social History of the Media
is an ideal textbook for students and a lesson to professional historians that they need to take the media seriously as a subject in its own right."
International Review of Social History
"This book is, without doubt, the best history of the media we have. Covering in its massive sweep every significant wave of change from the print revolution to the Internet, it provides an authoritative account of modern forms of communication and should be read by anyone interested in the development of our mediated world."
"Asa Briggs and Peter Burke have written a fascinating and far–reaching history of the media. Beginning with the print revolution and ending with the maturation of the Information Society, they not only tell the political, social and technological histories of each medium, but also link them in such a way as to help us see overarching patterns and continuities. The end result is an engaging and intelligent investigation of five centuries of media and communications."
New York University