- List of time travel works of fiction
- Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food: Mathilde Cohen: Bloomsbury Academic
- Editorial Reviews
- No Past, No Present, No Future
Only women are soldiers. A man falls asleep on a mountain side and wakes twenty years in the future. He finds he has been forgotten, his wife has died and his daughter is no longer a child. The heartless Ebenezer Scrooge , an old miser, is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past , Present and Yet to Come , in order to teach him the consequences of his selfish ways.
The Clock that Went Backward. A clock takes people back in time. The first story to use a machine for time travel. Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau.pierreducalvet.ca/131825.php
List of time travel works of fiction
In the late 19th century, Julian West falls into a deep, hypnosis-induced sleep and wakes years later. A Dream of John Ball. An inventor takes a companion in his time machine. The companion narrates the story of their subsequent adventures. Golf in the Year A man falls asleep in and wakes up in the year Trains are supersonic, and golf and politics are the only activities not yet dominated by masculinized women.
An inventor creates a time machine and travels to the year , AD. There, humans have evolved into two species, Morlocks and Eloi. The Defence of Duffer's Drift. A military tactics manual, framed as a series of six dreams by "Lieutenant Backsight Forethought" about the defence of a river crossing in the Boer War. His tactics in the early dreams are disastrous, but BF learns something each time, until in the final defence he is successful. The Story of the Amulet. A mysterious artifact brings British children to Babylon, Roman Gaul and other ancient civilizations, and to a future British utopia.
Enoch is transported forward from to to find out whether he became a great writer. His tale involves a Faustian pact. A strange cave gas transports Anthony Rogers to AD. This story was the basis of the comic strip, Buck Rogers. An archaeologist is transported from Rome, in the time of Mussolini, back to the 6th century and tries to prevent the fall of the Roman Empire. A circular paradox -character is brought to the future where he later operates a time machine to bring himself to the future.
The Justice Society of America uses a time ray to travel years into the future to secure an effective defense against bomb attacks. A desperate attempt is made to find the origin point of a knife whose metal has extreme properties brought to the world by a time traveler. Scientists invent a substance which allows time travel. Future humanity has branched into species for different tasks.
They also visit the past. The story was adapted into a film in Moore and Henry Kuttner. Time travellers from the future experience wonderful seasons and spectacular events in the past. A villain murders a scientist who invented a time machine, and tries to use it to alter history so modern technology cannot defeat his bid to conquer America.
After putting on a gauntlet , a boy is transported back to in Wales. The butterfly effect means changes made in the past will affect the future. A time traveller from an alternate reality travels back to the Battle of Gettysburg and changes his own future into ours. An experiment involving the time travel of a small brass cube results in disaster. Time guardians carry out "Reality Changes" to minimize human suffering, as integrated over the whole of future human history.
Time Patrol , plus 10 others. The Stars My Destination. Gully Foyle lives in a future where self- teleportation is common. He learns to teleport through time. The narrator travels twice to Wales in the year Each time he encounters a different future. The Door into Summer. A man has been trapped in suspended animation for thirty years. A tale of Armageddon and the Devil. A soldier travels from back from the future to warn the world of its path towards global conflict.
The Men Who Murdered Mohammed. A professor travels back in time and kills his wife's grandfather so that his wife will never have existed. However, the results confound him. In this children's novel, a boy is living in medical quarantine in a s apartment building. He finds himself in the building's garden of the s and there is a girl there with whom he can play.
The Weirdstone of Brisingamen. Through the caves of Alderley Edge in Cheshire, Colin and Susan go back in time in a story involving a crystal bracelet and a magical great wolf. Danny Dunn, Time Traveler. Raymond Abrashkin and Jay Williams. Stan Lee and Jack Kirby. Heroes travel to Ancient Egypt and meet Pharaoh Rama-Tut, who is a time traveller from the 31st century. The first appearance of Marvel Comics time-travelling villain, Kang the Conqueror. Doctor Who gave rise to more than original novels and novelisations based on the popular science fiction television show. The Great Time Machine Hoax.
A man inherits his uncle's mansion that has a computer that can function as a time machine, although they are slow to realize it. A US Navy research ship accidentally travels back in time. The book was nominated for the Nebula Award , but lost to Dune. A children's mystery set in England where the main protagonist travels to the time of World War I. The Technicolor Time Machine. A bankrupt film studio and a mediocre film director make a movie of the founding of Vinland.
Using a time travel machine, they cast real Vikings. An oppressive government uses a time machine to deport their political prisoners to the Cambrian , a half-billion years in the past. After saving an alien stranded on Earth, a boy is given a belt that allows him to travel through space and time. A boarding-school story where the protagonist, Charlotte, travels back in time to be Claire in A man is randomly travelling through time, jumping from one event to another in no particular order.
The House on the Strand. A man uses a time machine to travel to 28 AD, in the hope of meeting Jesus. Quest for the Future. A man once exposed to films from the future is drawn into an adventure to become part of a group of time travellers linked by a special building. The Year of the Quiet Sun. A government uses a time machine to survey the future and then adjust its policies based on what it sees. Time Enough for Love.
The Man Who Folded Himself. They join the Children's Crusade , and save most of them with 20th-century knowledge and high technology such as a box of matches. A young man sees an old photograph of a woman. Through hypnosis he travels back from to to meet her. The story was the basis of the film Somewhere in Time. Travellers from the future "freeze" small groups of people into "tableaux".
The people in each tableau vivant become invisible and permeable to others, until the effect wears off, sometimes after many years. A half-finished Tipler cylinder is discovered by a future human explorer. When the leader decides to complete it, his civilization is destroyed by a nova. Wells builds a time machine, which is stolen by Jack the Ripper so he can escape the authorities and continue his killing spree in the future. The Morlocks from H.
Tachyons are used to warn scientists of the past about an upcoming disaster. Winner of several prestigious science fiction awards. A racist US colonel plans to aid the Confederacy with submachine gun plans and is pursued through time by an African-American cop. An African-American woman, inexplicably transported from Los Angeles to early 19th century Maryland, meets her ancestors.
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The Milliways restaurant is frozen in the last moment before the universe succumbs to final entropy. Time travel is required to reach it. Time travellers from the late twenty-first to the early twenty-second century go through a one-way time portal to the Earth's Pliocene.
Making Milk: The Past, Present and Future of Our Primary Food: Mathilde Cohen: Bloomsbury Academic
The world is controlled by humanoid extraterrestrials. Life, the Universe and Everything. Time travel paradoxes form the basis of this broad comedy, as in the case of the ancient poet Lallafa. In the far distant future, a team of time travellers snatch the passengers of a crashed aeroplane, leaving behind prefabricated bodies for rescue teams to find. The novel is the basis of the film. In , a millionaire discovers time-travel gates and organizes a trip to to attend a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
A professor hired by the millionaire is trapped in 19th-century London. A stagnating civilization of the s is revitalized when a man produces evidence of a future utopia , obtained through time travel. Mankind is inspired by the evidence to achieve this utopia. Decades after Axis victory in World War II , the besieged forces of freedom mount a covert military mission to , to alter the outcome of the war.
Spock , in Seattle in discovers a Klingon plot to destroy the United Federation of Planets by assassinating an ancestor of his mother who will later be instrumental in repelling an invasion by the alien Karsids. A man made space ship from the far future passes through a wormhole.
It crashes onto the Earth where it is thought to be an alien vessel. She is caught up in a struggle to preserve history. During a Passover Seder , a woman is transported back to in Poland and is sent to a death camp. An airplane accidentally flies through a rip in the space-time continuum. It appears in the "used time" of yesterday, where dreadful "Langoliers" eat the past. A woman time travels from the s to the s by stepping through the standing stones in Scotland. The Guns of the South. A history student is inadvertently sent to England, at the beginning of the Black Death pandemic. A 20th-century Polish engineer is transported back to 13th century Poland, ten years before the Mongol invasion.
After the invention of a method for sending messages back in time, the history of the future becomes common knowledge, and every person knows their own fate. From Time to Time. Adventures include voyaging on the RMS Titanic. The authorised sequel to H. Wells' The Time Machine. The Redemption of Christopher Columbus. Researchers look back in time to see Christopher Columbus 's arrival in the New World , in order to save the world from ecological disaster.
Animorphs and Visser 3 are sent back a few hours to the Amazon by a Saurio Rip, with the plot used again in Altermorph 1. In Megamorph 2, the same concept is used to send the animorphs back to 65 million BC. In the Garden of Iden. Two men in the present attempt to prevent the birth of Adolf Hitler.
To Say Nothing of the Dog. A comedy in which historians travel back in time to find an artifact for a wealthy woman. They experience the Blitz at St. Features a scene with a dinosaur in a hotel room. A boy gets transported to a weird world by a blue light, only to discover that it is the dark future of planet Earth. Island in the Sea of Time. Nantucket is transported years back in time because of a space disturbance. A 21st-century corporation intends to use a Time Tube to exploit the natural resources of the past, but is outfoxed by a 16th-century Scottish clan.
A modern-day boy switches places with a Shakespearean actor who needs to be cured by modern medicine so he can return to his own time and help Shakespeare to greater success on the stage. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Hogwarts student, Hermione Granger , acquires a Time-Turner , that allows her to take a large courseload. The device is later used to manipulate the events of a single night to free two prisoners.
The Light of Other Days. Clarke , Stephen Baxter. A wormhole-based "time viewer" can observe people and events from any point throughout time and space. First in the series. Monuments from the future appear in the early 21st century, precipitating a global political collapse. Palaeontologists studying dinosaurs are trapped in the Mesozoic period, but also travel into the very distant future. The novel was nominated for several science fiction awards. Counting Up, Counting Down.
Collection of short stories, including two about a man's attempt to save his failing marriage by travelling back to the time he first met his wife. A man on Mars has a virus that puts him to sleep every 15 years, and he wakes 10 younger. He learns of a way to go back to the past. Sleuth, Thursday Next, gets caught up in overlapping vortices of time and alternate reality as a villain tries to eradicate a literary classic. Mikuru Asahina and Fujiwara have travelled from the future to observe a girl who is unaware that she possesses destructive reality warping powers.
The Time Traveler's Wife. A man with a rare genetic disorder unpredictably travels in time, living his life out of sequence. A naval task force from is accidentally sent back to just before the Battle of Midway. The Spark of God orig. Describes the First Crusade and the beginning of the Knights Templar in the future. All You Need Is Kill. When aliens invade, a new recruit dies on the battlefield, only to reawaken the day before he was killed, to fight and die again and again. War of the Ancients Trilogy. A human, a dragon and an orc travel back in time to help save Azeroth from the Burning Legion.
The Plot to Save Socrates. Time travellers from try to prevent Socrates from consuming hemlock.
The fifth in the Artemis Fowl series. Artemis and Captain Holly Short search for a missing demon, to stop a demon colony. Artemis also ends up saving Holly by manipulating time. An Oral Biography of Buster Casey. Characters participate in "Party Crashing" which can, under certain conditions, cause time travel. The Accidental Time Machine. A research assistant at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology accidentally creates a forward-traveling time machine. Each leap forward in time to get out of trouble lands him in deeper trouble.
The sixth book in the Artemis Fowl series. After his mother contracts spelltropy, Artemis travels back in time to find a lemur that can help cure her. The trick ending creates a circular timeline that started the series. Thirteen-year-olds, Jonah and Chip, find out that they are missing children from time and go on a journey, along with Jonah's sister, Katherine, to uncover many secrets. Ruby Red original title: Time travel is a "dead-end tunnel" and while time travellers can "go back along the tunnel" going to the future is impossible.
They also can't change the past lest this cause a paradox of retrocausality. The chief villain takes advantage of retrocausality by sending two characters into the past to enable him to escape from prison. Jonah and Katherine go on a mission to return a missing child, named Andrea really Virginia Dare , to her time in the Roanoke Colony. Blackout and All Clear. A novel published in two parts.
In search of his father, a time machine mechanic travels through time accompanied by TAMMY and his ontologically valid dog, Ed, all while documenting his travels in a manual for future travellers. A man travels through a time portal, and attempts to prevent the assassination of John F. George Beard and Harold Hutchins, two fourth graders, use a homemade time machine to travel 65 million years into the past.
An unforeseen change in the past necessitates the use of psychic abilities to reset the present and future. A man lives his life again and again from the beginning each time he dies.
He finds more people like him in the Cronus club. A man discovers that he is living in the worst possible timeline ours and also that he shouldn't exist. He endeavors to set things right without erasing himself in the process. Chronman, James Griffin, reclaims valuable resources through the stresses of time-jumping without leaving a trace - until he breaks the highest law and brings back scientist, Elise Kim. All Our Wrong Todays. The first adaptation of Mark Twain's classic; modern-day Martin Cavendish dreams that he is transported back to King Arthur's court where he has to use modern knowledge to outwit the king's enemies.
A man struck by lightning in , wakes up to a with personal aircraft, vending machines replacing sexual activity, spacecraft to Mars, people with letter- and digit-based names, pill meals, and government-determined marriages. The first sound version of Mark Twain's story in which a radio salesman Will Rogers is knocked out and wakes up in the land of King Arthur. Turn Back the Clock. Only a single time loop is needed for Joe to wish that he could relive his life and marry the wealthy woman.
When he has the chance to go through his life again, he has interesting discoveries and decisions. A modern man is transported back to 18th-century London where he meets his ancestors and falls in love with a woman of the era. Ali Baba Goes to Town. Where Do We Go from Here? A genie transports a man throughout time. Film noir meets science fiction when a woman shoots her husband on New Year's Eve , , then wishes that she could live the year all over again. Very loosely based on Mark Twain's story in which a mechanic Bing Crosby is knocked out and wakes up in the land of King Arthur.
I'll Never Forget You. Astronauts returning from a voyage to Mars are caught in a time warp and are transported into a post-Apocalyptic Earth populated by mutants. A woman is sent back in time, via hypnosis, to the Middle Ages where she may be executed by the people of that time on suspicion of being a witch. Beyond the Time Barrier. A pilot flies faster than the speed of light, from to , into a dystopian future divided by two populations: Loose adaptation of H.
Wells 's classic in which a time traveler enters a future where the world is broken up into two classes: A survivor of the Third World War is sent back in time to rescue the present. Scientists find that their time-viewing screen allows them to travel through time and they become stranded in a post-apocalypse future.
Who and the Daleks. The Doctor and his companions travel in the TARDIS to the future of a post-apocalyptic world where two races, the Daleks and the Thals, follow two different paths to survive following a nuclear war. Daleks — Invasion Earth: Journey to the Center of Time. Scientists develop a time machine and travel to the far future where the earth is in peril and the distant past, to the age of the dinosaurs. A remake of The Time Travelers. Planet of the Apes. George Taylor played by Charlton Heston is an astronaut who travels to a future Earth inhabited by intelligent, talking apes.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes. Brent, an astronaut travels to a future Earth ruled by apes. His search for fellow astronaut, George Taylor, leads him to an underground city of nuclear mutants. Escape from the Planet of the Apes. Three apes escape Earth's destruction by salvaging and repairing the spaceship of astronaut, George Taylor, and piloting it through a time warp back to A man becomes displaced from time and experiences the events in his life in random order, including time spent in an alien civilization.
Due to an impending disaster that threatens to destroy mankind, a time machine is built by a group of young scientists to transport themselves into the future to rebuild civilization. Back to the Future. Engineer Shurik has invented a time machine in his apartment. By accident, he sends two people back into the time of Ivan IV while the real Ivan IV is sent by the same machine into Shurik's apartment. Superman circles the Earth at tremendous speeds allowing him to travel back in time to just before an earthquake created by Lex Luthor.
Using a time machine, Jack the Ripper and H. Wells travel from London to San Francisco. A storm at sea transports a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier back in time from the s to the s. A man is captivated by an old picture of a beautiful actress who he feels is connected to him somehow.
Through self-hypnosis he returns to the past and the love of his life. A triple supernova opens a rift in time space, propelling a family far into the future where they are attacked by monstrous aliens before finding refuge in a domed city. The Adventure of Lyle Swann. A motorcyclist competing in a desert race unknowingly gets caught in the middle of a time travel experiment and is transported by means of "time cannons" to the Old West of — Big-screen adaptations of three classic episodes from the popular s and s Rod Serling television series , plus a new segment featuring a bigot who is transported into the lives of past victims of racism.
A cyborg Arnold Schwarzenegger is sent back in time from to to destroy humanity by killing the future mother of its future savior. In , an anti-radar experiment accidentally sends two sailors forward in time to Non ci resta che piangere. Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi.
The school janitor, Mario Massimo Troisi , and the teacher, Saverio Roberto Benigni , have an automobile breakdown and decide to spend the night in an inn. The next morning they awake in 15th-century Florence. Using a time machine installed in a DeLorean DMC12 sports car, teenager Marty McFly , intervenes in his parents' first meeting back in , preventing them from falling in love, and placing his own existence in danger. On a class excursion to a cave with stone age paintings, Rex, a clumsy teenager, gets lost.
A mysterious crystal opens a gateway in time and sends him back to the stone ages, where he meets the beautiful girl, Eba. Michael and Ellie break into a military junkyard to find a science project. They find an orb that dangerously bends time and have to stop it to save the world. An year-old goes back in time to prevent his grandfather from making a fatal plane flight across the Atlantic. Peggy Sue Got Married. Peggy Sue Bodell faints at her high school reunion. When she wakes up, she finds herself in her own past, just before she finished high school. Catering salesman falls through a time hole to where he saves the life of a dashing Royal Flying Corps pilot, after his photo recon mission is shot down.
Before he can work out what happened, he is returned to the s. To save Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk and his crew travel back to to retrieve and take back humpback whales , the only beings who can communicate with an alien probe that is threatening Earth. Flight of the Navigator. In , a boy winds up 8 years in the future, and discovers that an alien spaceship transported him there. A Russian dystopian comedy in which two Russians are accidentally transported to a desert planet where there is oppressive inequality, and struggle to find their way home.
Two men travel from the s to s Stalinist Russia , and find themselves repeatedly reliving a day in a coal mine town. The older man hopes he can atone for his past while the younger begins to understand his father's earlier life. Masters of the Universe. He-Man battles with Skeletor to prevent him from becoming master of the universe. Due to a cosmic key that opens a portal, the battle moves to Earth where several humans become involved in the struggle.
A professor discovers evidence of a time traveller in Old West memorabilia, and becomes involved in trying to prevent the assassination of Grover Cleveland by a 26th-century villain. Medieval travellers from 14th-century England tunnel through Earth and burst into 20th-century New Zealand. A cop from the future goes back in time to Los Angeles and teams up with his grandfather to capture a master criminal.
A man builds a baseball field on his farm to call back Chicago players banned due to the Black Sox Scandal. He gets his own chance to resolve his guilt over his deceased father. Back to the Future Part II. Biff Tannen plots to give a sports almanac to his younger self in , and win millions of dollars gambling. Marty and Doc must repair the timeline. A time traveller George Carlin helps them because they are destined to create a Utopian future.
They travel through time, encountering historical figures including Socrates , Joan of Arc , and Billy the Kid. Time travelers from the far future steal people already destined to die, such as in plane crashes, to restock humankind in their own desolate future. Based on the John Varley novel.
A warlock in the 17th century who has been sentenced to death for witchcraft, is transported to the 20th century, followed by a witch hunter who must stop the warlock from finding the Grand Grimoire. A scientist creates a weapon that causes one's enemy to disappear but has a side effect of causing shifts in time. The scientist is transported back to where he meets Doctor Frankenstein and his monster, as well as Mary Shelley who, in this film, based her novel on true events. Marty McFly goes back to to stop an outlaw from killing Doc Brown in a duel, and bring him back home to A baseball player gets a second chance to see how his life good be better after traveling back to hit a game winning homerun.
A contemporary schoolteacher who continues to lament the death of his brother in Vietnam, is given the chance to go back in time and prevent the Kennedy assassination, based on the belief that it would prevent Lyndon Johnson from beginning an escalation of the conflict. However, his attempt results in him being accused of the crime and the subject of a nationwide manhunt. The film is based on the Stanley Shapiro book.
Aditya is a time machine, invented by an absent-minded professor Ram Das. Krishna, a young post-graduate, Hema and a smuggler, Raja, want to procure the machine for their own reasons. In , Skynet sends a shape-shifting terminator back to to kill year-old John Connor , while future Connor sends a T Schwarzenegger back to protect his past self and prevent a nuclear holocaust.
Terrorists from the year seek to destroy Japan and prevent it from becoming an economic superpower. They travel to and replace Godzilla with three genetically-engineered creatures, which become the monster, King Ghidorah. Ash Bruce Campbell , a supermarket employee, is sent back in time by a specific book to the 14th century to fight an undead army. In a future where time travel has been invented, the rich snatch people from history a moment before their death in order to use the bodies as hosts for their own minds after death. Ben Wilson and daughter, Hillary, are visited by a strange group of travelers looking for lodging.
The travelers are from the future, intending to witness an impending catastrophe. Moore , and was released on video as Grand Tour: The turtles go back in time to feudal Japan to retrieve their kidnapped friend, April. A 12th-century knight and his servant are mistakenly transported to the 20th century and find themselves adrift in modern society.
A disastrous experiment in sends a stealth aircraft through a time portal into Germany. A sailor is pulled into the portal at the same time, and finds himself in a version of where the Nazis won World War II. Barry Thomas is an average office worker who witnesses the murder of a woman that he is attracted to.
That night, during a storm, Barry gets a shock from a lamp's faulty power wire at exactly In the next few days, he realizes that the world is trapped in a time loop , with himself the only one aware of it. Barry must prevent the murder and stop the time loop, or be caught in time forever. Weatherman Phil Connors Bill Murray is trapped re-living February 2 in Punxsutawney , Pennsylvania, leading him to re-examine his life and priorities.
An amateur inventor goes through time with an airplane to stop a villain from changing history for profit. A probe from the year to the year goes wrong, creating a plague-ravaged, alternate timeline whose inhabitants are locked in a constant battle with killer robots. The hero must find a similar time machine in this alternate world and prevent the disaster from ever happening. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard, meet through the effects of an energy ribbon. This causes a dilemma for the hero, Max Walker, who has to prevent time-travellers from altering time, but is tempted to do so himself, to prevent his wife's death.
James Cole is sent back in time to acquire an unmutated form of a virus that has nearly wiped out humanity. A selfish teenager is forced to relive the same Christmas every day until he comes to understand the true meaning of the holiday season. The Doctor , in his eighth incarnation, has a showdown with the Master at the turn of the millennium, December 31, The USS Enterprise follows the Borg back in time to stop them from altering history and preventing Earth's first warp flight and first contact with the Vulcans.
An FBI agent repeatedly travels back in time to prevent a crime. The situation worsens each time around, until she decides to let things play out. A US submarine runs into a time rift and a special unit goes on a mission to see what's on the other side. They find themselves in an alternate dystopian America, now a one-man dictatorship and decide to help the rebels. Lola has to acquire , Deutsche Mark to save her boyfriend from the mob.
The film follows one attempt after another to raise the money, each failure resetting time and restarting her run through the streets of Berlin. In , a family undertakes a voyage to a nearby star system to begin large-scale emigration from a soon-to-be uninhabitable Earth, but are thrown off course by a saboteur and must try to find their way home. Buy the selected items together This item: The Case for Books: Ships from and sold by Amazon. Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. The Book in Society: An Introduction to Print Culture.
An Introduction to Bibliographical and Textual Studies. The New Digital Age: Transforming Nations, Businesses, and Our Lives. The Coming of the Book: How States Shaped Literature. Sponsored products related to this item What's this? Hours of Wordsearch puzzles to enjoy! A perfect gift for birthdays, holidays, or just to relax. Enjoy these easy-to-read puzzles anytime, anywhere! Hours of Sudoku puzzles to enjoy! Makes a perfect gift for birthdays, holidays, or just to relax.
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No Past, No Present, No Future
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Write a customer review. Read reviews that mention access to information robert darnton collection of essays case for books university presses history of books written word book search google book open access found in this book google books books and read libraries publishing digital available content knowledge copyright.
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Past, Present and Future I would recommend it for every bibliophile's "books to read" list. Darnton is not only the director of the Harvard library, he is also a historian who has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the history of books, writing, printing and reading. The book provides an overview of the subject without trying to do too much and without being dry and too technical.
I liked it so much I will admit to purchasing my own copy after I had read the first 6 chapters. As indicated by the title, The Case for Books is divided into three sections, as indicated by the title, but the Introduction has one of the most important points in the book, in my opinion. The younger people you pass on the street or sit next to on a bus are both simultaneously there and not there. He analyzes the way the public interacts with books and printing he is especially fond of the 17th century and spends a lot of time on the craft of bibliography and the way it is possible to distinguish between editions of Shakespeare and then provides one of the best and certainly one of the clearest explanations of the Google book settlement that I have read.
He is obviously a fan of Google Books and other projects that provide access to information, but he is also not overly dazzled and points out the danger of giving one commercial entity a monopoly or even fostering an oligopoly. I particularly liked the chapters that dealt with reading. The description of the "commonplace book" of the 17th century was facinating, as I had not heard of this before. He points to the idea of the history of books as the history of communication in print. Ideas are transmitted through the written word and books have shaped the thought and behavior of mankind for the last years.
Books aren't going to disappear. They may change format, but that has happened many times in the past.
Darnton talked briefly about Open Access, and he has what is not quite a rant on the topic of destroying books to preserve them. This has happened in the past when the powers that be thought that microform was the wave of the future. It is not quite so bad with Google as scanning techniques have improved, but Google has sadly lacked quality control, praticularly in some of its earlier scanning projects. Cyberspace needs to be regulated and have standards, but the information needs to be available for students and general readers alike.
Information is valuable but it is not knowledge. I was surprised that he didn't mention projects other than Google Books which are providing material for free, for example Project Gutenburg, the Hathi Library and the internet Archives, all of which are fine examples of providing public access to information. He also talked about university press publishing and Gutenburg-e, which was a project to provide electronic copies of the top dissertations in history, combining the work of the Columbia University Press and the American Historical Association and financed by Carnegie Mellon.
It was only moderately successful and has ended. University Presses are publishing less and less because the public won't buy the books that are published and libraries can no longer afford them. There are fewer and fewer venues for faculty to publish and that has negatively affected academia which is still tied to print publishing as a means of advancing.
Darnton obviously loves his subject and his profession. I think bibliophiles, librarians and others who are interested in the whys and wherefores of books that are either digital or paper who read A Case for Books will be satisfied. There are several heroes in this book, but only one villain. The villain is, of course, Google, with its plan to digitize millions of books from research libraries and to make them available on the web to the public, for a profit. Google was challenged in court by a group of authors and publishers for alleged breach of copyright. For Robert Darnton, who expressed his views in numerous articles published by the NYRB and other journals, market forces cannot be trusted to operate for the public good.
Looking back over the course of digitization from the s, he sees a great missed opportunity: Marian the Librarian, as she is called, answers queries about her job by explaining that librarianship "is all about money and power". She lives in a dangerous world of CIA plots to take all newspapers out of libraries, of books baking in chemical solutions to prevent their pages from turning into crumbs, and of civil lawsuits such as the Google Book Search case brought to the district court for the Southern District of New York.
The case against Google's potential abuse of monopoly power is especially strong because, as people familiar with scientific publishing certainly know, it has happened before. Commercial publishers discovered they could ratchet up the subscription price of professional journals without causing cancellations, because once a university library subscribed, the students and the professors came to expect an uninterrupted flow of issues.
As a consequence, libraries that used to spend 50 percent of their acquisitions budget on monographes now spend 25 percent or less. University presses, which depend on sales to libraries, cannot cover their costs by publishing monographs. And young scholars who depend on publishing to advance their careers are now in danger of perishing. For the author, lending his voice to Marian the Librarian, "To digitize collections and sell the product in ways that fail to guarantee wide access would be to repeat the mistake that was made when publishers exploited the market for scholarly journals, but on a much greater scale, for it would turn the Internet into an instrument for privatizing knowledge that belongs in the public sphere.
Let's call him Bob the Historian. As he defines his field of inquiry, the purpose of the history of books "is to understand how ideas were transmitted through print and how exposure to the printed word affected the thoughts and behavior of mankind during the last five hundred years".