The ascent of media

Our society is shaped by our media – now more than at any other time in history. The Ascent of Media looks at the new digital era in the context of all that has gone before.

Roger Parry takes us on a journey from the earliest written story – the Legend of Gilgamesh etched on clay tablets – to the Gutenberg press, and from the theatres of Athens to satellite tv, right up to Google and the unfurling world of digital content.

Tracing 3000 years of history, he shows how today’s media have been shaped by the interaction of politics, economics and technology. He explains why Britain has the public service BBC whilst America developed the private broadcasting networks ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC. He profiles the people and organisations that have created the media world and reveals the often surprising stories behind such ubiquitous items as the keyboard, telephone dial and tabloid.

The book traces the story of media from clay tablets to tabloids to the tablet computer. It relates how we got where we are and, based on the experience of history, where we are likely to go next.

Opening up a whole new forum for debate, Parry argues that contemporary media is not, as the doomsayers suggest, in decline, but on the cusp of a new era – one in which it will adapt, evolve and thrive.

You can find further details of The Ascent of Media on the main catalogue, available in ‘Catalogues’ on the Library’s website.