美国历史学家 Paul Dover 的新著 The Information Revolution in Early Modern Europe 于2021年12月在剑桥大学出版社出版。关于“信息时代”的种种关注和讨论理应唤起一种史学反思——“信息”的历史及其中的关键节点需要得到研究。本书认为，现代早期欧洲存在一场“信息革命”。这场革命的关键之处，正在于人们在可负担的纸张上记录、共享和组织信息，这种方式也在知识领域引发了深刻的变革。本书第三章“自然之书与人之书”（The book of nature and the books of man）特别讨论了科学革命与这场信息革命的关联。本书可以与 Ann Blair 等人主编的 Information: A Historical Companion (Princeton University Press, 2021) 合璧，构成2021年在“信息史”主题下两本最重要的著作。
This provocative new history of early modern Europe argues that changes in the generation, preservation and circulation of information, chiefly on newly available and affordable paper, constituted an ‘information revolution’. In commerce, finance, statecraft, scholarly life, science, and communication, early modern Europeans were compelled to place a new premium on information management. These developments had a profound and transformative impact on European life. The huge expansion in paper records and the accompanying efforts to store, share, organize and taxonomize them are intertwined with many of the essential developments in the early modern period, including the rise of the state, the Print Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, and the Republic of Letters. Engaging with historical questions across many fields of human activity, Paul M. Dover interprets the historical significance of this ‘information revolution’ for the present day, and suggests thought-provoking parallels with the informational challenges of the digital age.
Paul M. Dover is Professor of History at Kennesaw State University. He has published widely in the political, diplomatic and cultural history of late medieval and early modern Europe, and in the history of information. He is the author of the Changing Face of the Past (2013) and the editor of Secretaries and Statecraft in the Early Modern World (2016).