Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
What We're Saying
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
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
These eight books, the top in their category, make up the shortlist for the 2016 800-CEO-READ Business Book Award. READ FULL DESCRIPTION
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
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.