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A Social History of Knowledge II: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia
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A Social History of Knowledge II: From the Encyclopaedia to Wikipedia (Paperback)

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Peter Burke follows up his magisterial Social History ofKnowledge, picking up where the first volume left off around1750 at the publication of the French Encyclop die andfollowing the story through to Wikipedia. Like the previous volume, it offers a social history (or a retrospective sociology ofknowledge) in the sense that it focuses not on individuals but ongroups, institutions, collective practices and general trends. The book is divided into 3 parts. The first argues thatactivities which appear to be timeless - gathering knowledge, analysing, disseminating and employing it - are in fact time-boundand take different forms in different periods and places. Thesecond part tries to counter the tendency to write a triumphalisthistory of the 'growth' of knowledge by discussing losses ofknowledge and the price of specialization. The third part offersgeographical, sociological and chronological overviews, contrastingthe experience of centres and peripheries and arguing that each ofthe main trends of the period - professionalization, secularization, nationalization, democratization, etc, coexistedand interacted with its opposite.

As ever, Peter Burke presents a breath-taking range ofscholarship in prose of exemplary clarity and accessibility. Thishighly anticipated second volume will be essential reading acrossthe humanities and social sciences.

History & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsSlavery & abolition of slaveryHistory & PoliticsHistory: specific events & topicsSocial & cultural historyPhilosophy, Psychology & Social SciencesPhilosophy TheoryPhilosophy: epistemology & theory of knowledge Publisher: Polity Press Publication Date: 20/12/2011 ISBN-13: 9780745650432  Details: Type: Paperback Format: Books
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Peter Burke is Professor Emeritus of Cultural History at the University of Cambridge.

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