How Play Made the Modern World
"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 Extra Life, 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.
About this Author
Steven Johnson is the bestselling author of thirteen books, including Where Good Ideas Come From, How We Got to Now, The Ghost Map, and Extra Life. He's the host and cocreator of the Emmy-winning PBS/BBC series How We Got to Now, the host of the podcast The TED Interview, and the author of the newsletter Adjacent Possible. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.
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