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Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World

Steven Johnson

"A house of wonders itself. . . . Wonderland inspires grins and well-what-d'ya-knows" -- The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times- bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Farsighted, a look at the world-changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained.

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Book Information

Publisher: Riverhead Books
Publish Date: 11/15/2016
Pages: 336
ISBN-13: 9780399184482
ISBN-10: 0399184481
Language: English

What We're Saying

November 23, 2016

The five finalists in the Innovation & Creativity category span styles and subject matter, but all do one thing well: make learning interesting. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 23, 2016

Steven Johnson's new history of how we got to now is an exploration of ideas and attitudes, invention, art and whimsy. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

December 06, 2016

These eight books, the top in their category, make up the shortlist for the 2016 800-CEO-READ Business Book Award. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

November 01, 2016

If you're going to read 40 business books published in 2016, make them this 40—or, I suppose, choose from among them. READ FULL DESCRIPTION

Full Description

"A house of wonders itself. . . . Wonderland inspires grins and well-what-d'ya-knows" --The New York Times Book Review From the New York Times-bestselling author of How We Got to Now and Farsighted, a look at the world-changing innovations we made while keeping ourselves entertained.

This lushly illustrated history of popular entertainment takes a long-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused. Johnson's storytelling is just as delightful as the inventions he describes, full of surprising stops along the journey from simple concepts to complex modern systems. He introduces us to the colorful innovators of leisure: the explorers, proprietors, showmen, and artists who changed the trajectory of history with their luxurious wares, exotic meals, taverns, gambling tables, and magic shows. In Wonderland, Johnson compellingly argues that observers of technological and social trends should be looking for clues in novel amusements. You'll find the future wherever people are having the most fun.

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