All the Knowledge in the World

Simon Garfield


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Orion Publishing Co
7 September 2023
ISBN: 9781474610797
400 pages

From the publisher

The encyclopaedia once shaped our understanding of the world. Now these huge books sell for almost nothing on eBay while we derive information from our phones. What have we lost in this transition? All the Knowledge in the World tracks the story from Ancient Greece to Wikipedia, from modest single-volumes to the 11,000-volume Chinese manuscript that was too big to print. It exposes how encyclopaedias reflect our changing attitudes towards sexuality, race and technology, uncovers a fascinating part of our shared past and wonders whether the promise of complete knowledge - that most human of ambitions - will forever be beyond our grasp