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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Why the Information Revolution Would Happened in Europe Even Without the Printing Press

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After Johannes Gutenberg invented the moveable type printing press, Europe changed irrevocably. What happened was a shift in the generation, preservation and circulation of information, chiefly on newly available and affordable paper, which created an information revolution.
But it wasn’t just the printing press that caused this. Today’s guest, historian and author Paul Dover, argues there would have been a revolution in information in early modern Europe even without Gutenberg’s invention. Most of the changes in institutions and mentalities were caused by a massive increase in manuscript writing, which injected massive amounts of information into society.
Everything changed. Europe saw the rise of the state, the Print Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, and the Republic of Letters.
Dover is author of the book “The Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe.” He interprets the historical significance of this 'information revolution' for the present day, and suggests thought-provoking parallels with the informational challenges of the digital age.
April 05, 2022
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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